By Confidente Reporter
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob says certain sectors of the public are threatening peace and stability by sowing disunity and creating “tribal silos” in the country.
Geingob, during the opening of the 19th annual council of traditional leaders, this week urged traditional leaders to unite Namibians “not necessarily by looking into one’s tribal lineage” but by pulling together as a nation.
“Our people therefore expect our traditional leaders to take the lead to accentuate the ethos of this new narrative of the Namibian House. You need to lead by example, so that every village, every homestead, every individual, in every corner of Namibia becomes an advocate of unity. Like I have said before, there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s culture or tribe. The problem arises when one starts putting the suffix -ism at the end of tribe to create tribalism. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your race but once you put the -ism at the end it becomes racism, which is poisonous to society.
He said Namibia is being threatened by certain sectors of the public who have become “bored with peace and are keen on creating an atmosphere of distrust in which they hope that people will retreat into tribal silos.”
“Such a situation is a threat to the progress we have made as a nation.”
Geingob, said as President, he cannot sit back and allow Namibia to slip down the slippery slope of disunity and return to the Bantustan era.
“I would like to encourage all those present here today to focus on building the Namibian House. Let that be our priority. Let us see this project through to completion. So let us not focus on what separates us rather let us focus on what brings us together.
There is an African proverb which says, “He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune.” Let us therefore not be the foolish people who burn down our house only to realise that the ashes will cost a fortune, for it is easy to destroy or burn down something but far more difficult and expensive to rebuild.
He said traditional leaders effectiveness in helping Government function and local regions develop can therefore never be overlooked.
“Most importantly, you are bestowed with responsibilities to unite our people in the spirit of one Namibia one Nation not necessarily by looking into one’s tribal lineage.
“Therefore, as Namibians we can only maintain the balance, poise and security of Namibia, the country we call home, by moving forward as one, pulling together in the same direction in the spirit of Harambee.
I am confident that the people of the Land of the Brave will overcome all scourges that aim to hinder our march forward, just as those brave freedom fighters who fought for our liberation overcame the shackles of colonial oppression. We have a plan in place, informed by our new narrative, called the Harambee Prosperity Plan.”
The President also urged traditional leaders to adopt a cautious approach towards the land issue, as it is emotive and if not handled correctly, could cause complete disarray in the country.
“Community disputes over communal land and over chieftainship succession have unfortunately become too common and present a concern not only to the members of those communities, but to Government as well. Government is spending more money to investigate these disputes while traditional communities involved in these disputes often fail to cooperate with Government in finding solutions thereto. Let us meet each other half way. Let us put personal ambition aside and think how we can help our neighbor and the poor members of our communities. I call upon our leaders to maintain peace within their traditional communities in order to minimize disputes. There can be no Harambee where there is selfishness and prioritisation of personal ambitions”
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