Stop blaming Aawambo - Kapofi

17 July 2019 | Government

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi has cautioned against tribalism and pointed out that there is a growing perception that only the Aawambo are beneficiaries of government programmes and positions in the public sector.

“It is a very sad thing to observe that lately in our society, we are experiencing tribal remarks and in such an open manner over social media networks,” he said recently in the National Assembly while contributing to a motion on social cohesion for nation-building.

“People are threatening other Namibians not to travel and reside in parts other than from where they are traditionally known to hail.

“People are calling other Namibians foreigners in their regions. An undertone has been brewing for some time now that only people from the northern regions are beneficiaries of government programmes. That only Oshiwambo-speaking persons are being appointed into positions in the public sector.”

According to Kapofi there has never been a time since independence that programmes were developed only to benefit a certain tribe or group of people.

“Yet I can assure you, that during the armed liberation struggle, there are some areas I know where the Casspirs and Koevoet operated with impunity that caused the loss of lives of people and the destruction of property. It is therefore hurtful, very painful indeed, to have these people, proper victims of the war of yesterday, being made victims of ignorance through tribal tirades,” he said.

Kapofi cautioned youth and political parties to tread very carefully not to start wild fires, which they cannot extinguish.

He added that once these fires are started they won't be able to contain the destruction they will cause.

“Sometimes, what we perceive of other people is a mirror reflection of ourselves. If we think that other people, other tribes are bad, how good are we ourselves, how good are our tribes themselves?” he asked.

Last week justice minister said Sacky Shanghala said there is no marginalisation in Namibia.

He urged political opposition to “rise above the pettiness of tribal undertones and to envision the Namibia we seek”.

When she tabled the motion, Swapo chief whip in the National Assembly Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele warned against the dangers of social media, while pointing out it has its positive benefits.

She also expressed excitement with the Cybersecurity Bill which is in progress as a working document with the information ministry.

“A new epidemic has broken out in Namibia where young people use social media to fuel propaganda and insult national leaders.

“Today people garnering for power have deployed armies of fake accounts to do so. I trust that this bill will make provision to criminalise the distribution of data messages which are harmful to fellow citizens,” she said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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