'Unite the divided nation'

Social media platforms have been awash with hate speech, insults and tribal labelling, especially among the youth.

02 December 2019 | Local News

Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah says all political parties and presidential candidates who took part in the 2019 general election should come out strongly and condemn the inflammatory behaviour and utterances of their followers, some of whom are threatening the peace and stability of the country following the polls.

Kamwanyah was asked yesterday what he made of the hate speech, insults and tribal labelling, especially among the youth, who are personally attacking one another - something being observed on various social media platforms.

Apart from citizens making these wild and threatening statements, some political party leaders have also gone to an extent of saying they will strive to make the country ungovernable during President Hage Geingob's next five-year presidential term. Kamwanyah argued that bold leadership will be required from all stakeholders to unite Namibians and called on party leaders to strongly condemn what is happening on social media.

“You see, in moments like these leadership matters, and I think the leadership of all the parties involved and all the camps that are involved, they are the ones to set the trend and move the country forward in unity,” Kamwanyah said.

“When you have a leadership that is not taking a lead, then it creates a vacuum, especially for anybody to say whatever they want. That is what we are seeing on social media, and they are not just Swapo supporters, but supporters of all other parties saying a lot of mean things to each other, but we do not see leadership from the parties to condemn the behaviour and disassociate themselves.”

Kamwanyah also made reference to the aftermath of the 2017 Swapo congress.

The two intra-party camps that contested against each other - Team Harambee led by Geingob and Team Swapo led by former youth minister Jerry Ekandjo and former Prime Minister Nahas Angula - remain at loggerheads.

Kamwanyah pointed out that Geingob failed to unite Swapo members after the congress, which had resulted in swathes of support for independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula.

“This is another aspect I think the president should also rein in, in terms of uniting people, because the president is for everybody, no matter if he is elected by less individuals,” Kamwanyah said.

“He should be seen above the water and not siding with any camp. I think that is the main problem why they could not unite Swapo, because the president was seen abiding with one camp, instead of being a leader to the whole party. Leadership matters.”

KENYA KAMBOWE

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