Priceless contributions

How Nujoma shaped an independent Namibia

10 May 2019 | Politics

As we celebrate Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma's birthday, the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) northern regions wishes to highlight that his birthday is both of symbolic significance to the Namibian nation in general and businesspeople in particular.

As the new crop of aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals who have witnessed the glorious days of economic emancipation, we without any measure of shame celebrate not only his birthday but the legacy of Tatekulu Sam Nujoma, the founding president, father of Namibian nation and liberation hero of the modern struggle for independence - the unwavering commander of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN).

We will forever celebrate your remarkable contributions, which are in every way priceless, in the following areas:

Economic emancipation

During his presidency, he managed to champion the policy initiative to increase access to land through township proclamations, as he knew that the lack of ownership of land by his people meant a meaningless independence.

He facilitated township proclamation to enable Namibians to have land from as far as Bukalo to Kangwati, Oshikango to Lüderitz and Walvis Bay to Gobabis; that is a fact.

The NCCI northern regions and the entire northern business population, as well as the entire nation of Namibia, have not and will not forget this.

Unification policy

As former president of the Republic of Namibia, he is remembered for promoting unity of purpose among all Namibians.

In the middle of adversity, he managed to bring the warring parties and former battlefront enemies together to become friends through the policy of national reconciliation. Namibia is a beacon of visible peace on the African continent.

This is a peace we need to take care of like an egg, as advocated by His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, the current president of the Republic of Namibia. Nujoma's symbolism of outstanding leadership has flagged modern democracy in Africa, where leaders step aside to respect the constitution and the wishes of the people. He is now resting at home for 14 years, away from managing public affairs in the executive office. We are indeed proud of his legacy.

Cultural values

The Namibian people, and particularly the young generation, are inspired by his attachment to the values of culture.

We became heavily inspired to see his energy as president, when he made surprise visits to traditional leaders, so that when they woke up they discovered he was already in their mahangu fields with his VIPs working.

He travelled all the way from the capital city, Windhoek. In the same vein, he created the elders council to spearhead issues linked to customs and traditional values.

On his retirement, he undertook an appreciation trip to countries that hosted many Namibians, to say thank you for their contribution/support during the time of war. He visited Angola, Zambia and many other countries and encouraged that African nations must now embark on agriculture promotion, in order to improve food security through green schemes, in order to feed Africans.

Businesspeople will always remain indebted to him; his Inga Dam dream to pump water from Congo to Namibia, which today some of us are now realising, was a noble idea, given the current, persisting drought. He also championed the project to provide undisturbed power supply to Namibia, popularly known as the trans-Caprivi power interlink. He masterminded the trans-Kunene corridor, the trans-Kalahari corridor and many more.

These projects are economic marks that are associated with the leadership of Tate Nujoma.

As we celebrate his 90th birthday, as a generation that is privileged to have seen the days of harmony and peace, we must jealously guard the sovereignty of our nation.

The fundamental principle in this task is to appreciate, celebrate and cherish the diversity of our cultures, as they collectively form an identity by which we are known as Namibians.

That is humility towards one another, respect for one another, loving one another and caring for each other.

I'm therefore, calling on my fellow youth, businesspeople and Namibians from all corners of this beautiful republic to regard tribalism as an epidemic like polio, which should be kicked out of Namibia. We should never tolerate tribalism, regionalism, racism and like. Rather we must embrace one another as children of one motherland.

In the same vein, we must not identify or associate our leaders with tribes.

Leaders are not identified with tribes; they are identified with the collective nation at large.

As a country we have strong bonds that keep us together and these bonds must be taught to our children.

This will make our generation know that we are in fact one family, only separated by the geography of our motherland.

Lastly, from the NCCI northern regions and its membership, we wish Tatekulu renewed energy and strength, so that we can continue to tap from his wisdom. God bless him!

By Tomas Koneka Iindji

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