Don’t Dig up the Past

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By Francis Tsawayo Windhoek Mayor of Tsumeb Engel Nawatiseb has condemned the “disturbing” hoisting of the colonial “South West Africa” national flag on one of the trucks participating in the float procession at the annual Tsumka Karnaval held last weekend. “Such actions are contrary to the country’s national policy of reconciliation,” Nawatiseb complained. “To all of us, the successful hosting of a festival of such magnitude is a sign of commitment from the private sector to meet the objectives of the council, that encourages active stakeholder participation through entertainment and unity of purpose through cultural and traditional events,” the mayor said. Though noting that the organisers had done a great job with the event that assists the council to stimulate economic growth by attracting visitors and other interested groups, the council was however disturbed by the hoisting of a flag that bothered certain of the town’s residents, who lodged a complaint with the council. In spite of the mishap, swift intervention by local leaders and the mayor put the issue to rest after consultation with the organisers, the mayor announced. “I want to commend the organisers for their prompt reaction and flexibility to acknowledge the gentlemen’s agreement that we collectively undertook in the interest of the town as well as for their understanding about the entire issue,” the mayor said. According Nawatiseb, his council is a sub-national government institution and has an obligation to ensure that the community as well as its residents organize all their activities in the town within the framework of the law. Nawatiseb warned residents that although they might have different backgrounds, they have the chance to be identified as one, although some people harbour personal agendas to discredit the image of the town. Due to the incident, the mayor is appealing to all residents of Tsumeb to always endeavour to protect the positive image of the town and not to conduct their business in a manner that can cast doubt on the patriotism of the residents to the country. “I strongly condemn local residents that opt to organise public events without the knowledge of the council whenever regulations and rules provide for such consultation to take place before hosting such an event. “We are ready to protect you all provided that your actions are in accordance with the law and portray an image of genuine camaraderie,” he said. With the coming of the Copper Festival at the end of next month, the mayor is appealing for sponsors – particularly local businesses – to commit themselves towards their social responsibilities and to contribute towards the hosting of the event.