Geingob finally hits back

01 August 2014 Author  

front geingob 01 augPRIME Minister Hage Geingob took the house by surprise on Thursday afternoon when he addressed fellow members of the National Assembly on the rise of tribalism in Namibia. Without beating about the bush, Geingob said there is a storm brewing on the horizon, and that the nation is slowly witnessing the emergence of tribalism in certain quarters of society. The Prime Minister delivered his message to a full house not only of members of parliament, but also ordinary citizens, who had come out in their numbers to hear his statement.

“Recently we have read some disturbing statements written by youth leaders which can only be described as tribal and divisive,” Geingob said.

He said the statements made by a certain youth leader were supposedly a response to sentiments expressed by the Governor of the Hardap Region Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.

“She was accused of making negative statements about the Four Os in the northern region of our country after saying don’t touch us, and an injury to one is an injury to all.

“I spoke with her and the statement was not made in reference to any particular group of people,” he said.

Geingob said these events prompted some Swapo Party Youth League leaders to foment an uprising of the majority Oshiwambo-speaking people against the minority by claiming they are ramping up attacks on the Oshiwambo-speaking people.

“What I have deduced from these statements is that they are being made by frustrated and divisive newcomers who masquerade as comrades and loyal party cadres,” the Prime Minister said.

He stressed that Swapo won the struggle for independence because all Namibians hailing from all ethnic groups stood up against colonial oppression. He questioned how and why the nation now suddenly fell into majority and minority groups.

“The statements that are being made by some of our citizens through print and social media are irresponsible and we should guard against tribal incitement.

“This is unacceptable and unpardonable. We fought against racism, apartheid and Bantustan tribalism. Can we really today allow the resurgence of tribalism through the back door?” Geingob said.

The Prime Minster further stressed that the people making these statements reek of desperation and form part of a small group of divisive individuals who failed to achieve victory through political structures.

They had now resorted to making careless statements in the hope of inciting tribal divisions and unrest.

“This is what caused trouble in Rwanda when some groups felt left out and that is why I always say that no Namibian should ever feel left out.

“It is therefore important to note that we are returning to the dichotomy of majority and minority, northerners and southerners, easterners and westerners,” Geingob said.

Shortly after Geingob delivered his speech, Swapo party MP Kazenambo Kazenambo took to the floor to add to the issues raised by the PM.

“I am not a minority in this country and I will never be a minority in my own motherland,” Kazenambo declared.

He said the term minority has negative social and economic connotations and that he would never subscribe to anyone referring to him as a second-class citizen in Namibia.

“People should be very clear when they use that word. When you call others a minority, do you mean they are a minority geographically or do you mean numerically and if so in which environment and decided so by whom,” Kazenambo said.

The charged up Swapo MP added that he would take time to absorb the earlier part of the Prime Minister’s statement that addressed the issues of reparations, and said he would table a motion at the next session.

It will be interesting to see if this motion will not be a duplicate of the motion tabled years ago by the late Chief Kuaima Riruako, and who will support it.
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