THE centenary commemoration of King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo’s death at the Omhedi Palace of Queen Martha Nelumbu served as a reminder of the unity that abides in the land of the brave, bringing together thousands of people from all walks of life, and from all corners of Namibia.
In an affirmation of unity of all tribes, several traditional authority leaders described the late Oukwanyama king Mandume ya Ndemufayo as a fearless fighter, who had an unwavering determination to defend the territorial integrity of his people- the greater populace of the nation.
Whilst the February 6 commemoration might have knocked sense in some influential people who have in the recent past fuelled tribal connotation with a regressive effect on Namibia’s socio-political system, the tribalistic innuendos that have been reaching our ears should be denounced and eradicated from our society.
Of note amongst a plethora of similar connotations, Swapo parliamentarian Ida Hoffman, who is also the chairperson of the Nama Genocide Technical Committee, was quoted in a daily this week saying that the Nama people were being excluded from the country’s economic mainstream.
“There are no jobs for our people. They are being tagged as lazy and drunkards. People have been transported in with yellow and orange buses to take their jobs,” she said without going into detail.
Having been incarcerated by the apartheid regime for amongst resisting Bantustan – a major administrative device for black exclusion – Hoffman ought to be amongst the first Namibian heroines to dismiss tribalism with contempt.
With very little doubt, such public statements from societal leaders have been known to raise the evil head of tribalism and divide society thereby eroding the gains of independence.
Great cadres of unity and heroes of the Namibia struggle such as Hendrik Witbooi who was a chief of the ǀKhowesin people, a sub-tribe of the Khoikhoi and Samuel Maharero who was a Paramount Chief of the Herero people in German South-West Africa, must be turning in their grave as their work is being undone by individuals who have failed to grasp the concept of a unified state.
If those who are supposed to know better do not act better and show responsibility and perpetuate the tribalism that the country has been known to have had over a number of years, then they are simply not fit to lead any ethnic group or hold any public office if Namibia is to move forward.
While there is nothing wrong with expressions of pride in one’s cultural practices naturally embraced by people of a particular tribe, this cannot be done to the detriment of other tribes, especially with respect to the distribution of public goods and other resources in the hands of the state.
With an acute need to treat the issue of land in the South with great sensitivity, it should be known that Government has acknowledged the need to address the issue and made a commitment that it will do so. Namibia ought to be a country of equal opportunities for all irrespective of tribal background or affinity, culture, language, religion. This is what our Constitution seeks to achieve and we should never undermine it for selfish and short-term gains.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015