Ignorance is a horrible thing

13 February 2019 | Opinion

Recent remarks uttered by the Swapo

//Karas Region coordinator Matthews Mumbala show how dangerously ignorant our leaders are when it comes to the rule of law, especially concerning the principles of freedom of association.

Mumbala spewed ignorance when he addressed the Swapo Party Youth League's regional executive committee meeting held at Keetmanshoop on Saturday.

The controversial Mumbala was quoted by The Namibian as saying Swapo members should end their love and friendship relationship with those aligned to rival political parties.

“We must even end marriages, or either quit politics and become spiritual leaders if you want to be fair to everyone,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Such archaic, outdated and ignorant views exhibited by the Swapo leader show that he lacks a tolerant democratic culture and is indulging in petty politicking at the expense of bread and butter issues.

This sort of political ignorance poses problems for our democracy which promotes the importance of respecting and promoting human rights as well as freedom of association.

Mumbala's statement does not inspire the young people of this country nor does it augur well for constructive politics that encourage and incorporate tolerance.

Obviously, Mumbala was probably speaking with the view on the upcoming election. Of course, it is his right to defend the ruling party, which pays his salary.

However, politicians must rise above petty politics and encourage a serious battle of ideas, including the need for greater openness and accountability on the part of the government of the day, as well as speaking out on widespread corruption and injustices being meted out to ordinary citizens.

This campaign period also calls for our highest level of tolerance and civility.

A battle of ideas and effective service delivery are what matter at the end of the day.

Pitting Namibians against each other will not and never address the serious challenges that we face as a nation.

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