Nujoma belongs to all - Diescho

Joseph Diescho says Sam Nujoma, as a founding father, qualifies to speak at any political party rally, not just at Swapo gatherings.

13 November 2019 | Local News

Academic and political commentator Joseph Diescho says founding president Sam Nujoma would not qualify to be the father of the nation, as he is currently referred to, if he only supported one political party. In fact, Nujoma should be free to speak at any party's meeting, the academic said.

Diescho says as the father of the nation, if Nujoma has five 'children', he should not neglect any of them.

Diescho, who is currently in self-imposed exile in Germany, made the remarks in a packed hall at Rundu at the weekend, where he lectured residents of the two Kavango regions on the topic 'The Failure of Nation-building in Namibia'.

“We have a state in Namibia, but not a nation, because if we had a nation, and if we were honest with what we are saying, that Tatekulu Sam Nujoma is the father of the Namibian nation, then he would not be wearing Swapo colours.

“A father of five children in the household would not attend the birthday party of one child alone. A father would sponsor and make sure he is at all the birthdays of the children.

“He is not a father, maybe he is a supervisor, maybe a prefect. To be a father there are consequences; you are responsible for the behaviour of everybody in the house, in other words, Sam Nujoma, in my humble opinion, qualifies to speak at any political party rally as a father of the nation,” Diescho said.

Diescho also made reference to the manner in which political parties conduct themselves at election campaign rallies, labelling their behaviour as anti-Namibian.

He said as long as people identified more with political parties than with the country, the citizens of the country would remain divided.

“When you see the political rallies that we witness today, only a few people carry the national flag. Most people carry the party flag, which is divisive because the party in political science is an arrangement of like-minded people who gather to contest for government,” Diescho said.

“A political party is a part of the whole. That means not even Swapo is the whole of Namibia, it's just a part of Namibia. If you identify yourself as part of the party, then there is a problem.

“Even national leaders in Namibia would wear a party hat, a party shirt, party trousers, party shoes and probably party underwear. That is not a Namibian statement; that is an anti-Namibian statement.”

Diescho went on to say that a determining factor in nation-building is how Namibians want people from the rest of the world to view the country.

After his hour-long lecture, members of the community posed questions to Diescho.

Most of the questions were about what people from the two Kavango regions should do to address the challenges their communities are facing.

Both Kavango regions are experiencing high levels of poverty and youth unemployment, which are partly attributed to the government failing to provide services and infrastructure development there. But Diescho told the audience that unity among the residents of the two regions was key. He said tribalism and character assassination of community members must stop.

“I cannot tell you what to do but I want you to start taking yourself seriously,” Diescho remarked. When asked about the relationship between unity and nation-building, Diescho said that nation-building can be successful even though people are not united on all issues.

People have different cultures and beliefs and they will always disagree, but that does not mean nation-building is unattainable, he said.

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