Tribalism at Soccer House


I, the undersigned, am asking you to place this letter in your paper. I think this is the time to alert the peace-loving Namibian communities about what is being planned and said in their name. This way, people will wake up to the dangers of the threatening tribal in-fighting in the name of soccer in our land. It appears that as soon as the political master of Namibian football P T Damaseb resigned, tribalism has apparently become the talk of Namibian football – that the ‘new man on the block’ (even though he is just serving in an acting capacity) John Muinjo decided to ‘fix’ the Damaras at Soccer House simply for the sake of it. As stated by my brother in a local daily newspaper, New Era, unfortunately no one wants to openly discuss the issue of tribalism. Therefore, I would like to use this letter to address some issues. Damaseb, given his background of being a child of the struggle and therefore a Namibian nationalist, followed an all inclusive policy deliberately. He skillfully managed the racial and tribal divide. He made sure and was busy completing his ideal of having all language groups represented at executive committee level in one way or another in the NFA. In fact, he wanted Muinjo to become president and probably, given his honourable lifestyle still supports him for the sake of continuity! Along comes Muinjo, and goes to Radio Otjiherero and shamelessly attacks the integrity of his closest colleague of seven years by stating the man (Damaseb) was stubborn, did not want to listen to anybody, etc. Yet the same man, using his powerbase, wants him to become president. It is a shame! I am not writing this letter in a malicious manner, but I want to make a strong case against the re-introduction of in-fighting, back-stabbing and tribalism in Namibian football. I am sharing both Herero and Damara ancestry but this thing of some Otjiherero people being so shamelessly jealous of whatever humble achievements of the Damara people irked me to the bone. I was shocked to the bone to learn through the waves of Radio Otjiherero how dishonourable Muinjo became in a matter of weeks after the departure of his erstwhile friend and comrade. What tribalism am I talking about? In a matter of weeks, Muinjo ‘fixed’ Eric Hansen at Soccer House. He simply decreed as per newspaper articles, without any consultations whatsoever, that the hardworking Hansen is no longer the chairman of the Games Organizing Committee. This is such an obvious move aimed at the former president of the NFA. Then he apparently wanted to fix the secretary general, Mr Alfeus Gaweseb, God knows what stopped him. I fail to understand why Muinjo is using or rather abusing the name of the unsuspecting Otjiherero people in ‘fixing’ the Damaras? If one looks at the football environment carefully, there is today not a single Damara at the executive level of the NFA and there should be no reason to try to ‘fix’ them. But why is Muinjo acting like this? Is it jealousy or was he oppressed intellectually by the highly educated Damaseb? The Damara people, as part of our common heritage and ancestry, died with the Otjiherero and Nama people as the Germans went on a killing spree in this land of ours. So why pick on them? Muinjo, you are your own worse enemy due to your boast-full nature. I pick up your intention to ‘fix’ the Damaras from your talk at the funerals frequented by Herero tribesmen. You stated your intentions quite clearly on Radio Otjiherero. As a man with dual ancestry, I was naturally alerted and fearful! Muinjo even wanted to install Kaanjuka as national team coach via secondment. Only the refusal of the Ministry of Youth and Sport put paid to his plans! Stories are doing the rounds that not even the Technical Director, Seth Boois, with his sound mind when it comes to strategic planning and action in the development of football on grassroots level, will be spared. Oh, he is next in line to be ‘fixed’. “I could prevent him from becoming the Technical Director but now I will make life hell for him!” – you pronounced proudly in your misguided ‘fight’ against the Damaras. But isn’t this the man (Seth Boois) who is supposed to make sure that Namibia reaches ‘World Cup 2010’? Now the big question is whether we will be successful with all this in-fighting, back-stabbing and attempts to fix the Damaras! We need brains, not stupidity! My question therefore is why should the Damaras be fair game? No man, no! Let the Damaras and their football skills also have a place under the sun in Namibia, just like everybody else in this country. Besides, their perceived giftedness and participation in the game of football does not limit the right of other people in Namibia to play the same game, as a matter of fact they play for all the clubs in the country! Let them be! And finally: Whatever you do and say Muinjo, please don’t ignite the hell of tribalism in Namibia because the Damaras are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives and patriots. My advice to you is to resign while we still remember your humble contribution to soccer in the land of the Brave, if any! You seem not to have any fresh ideas on how to move our football in unison. You see, we even failed to go beyond the first round to bring the African Cup of Nations to Namibia! Concerned Soccer Lover Katutura

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