Tribalism Is Rife in Caprivi

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SPYL leader could be sued for slander: New Era: 05 February 2008
After reading the above-mentioned article, I concluded that tribalism in the Caprivi Region has reached very high proportions which could lead to very nasty and unbearable calamities, the consequences of which could destroy both the perpetrators and the innocent.

I also thought that if the allegations are true, both Mr Siyauya and Mr Mukupi were wrong by “washing their linen in public” because people living in glass houses should not throw stones.

I would also like to remind them about the good and cordial comradeship that existed between comrade Peter Mwala (Subiya) and comrade Joseph Masake (Mafwe) while they represented the Caprivi Region as members of the National Council.

The two comrades were always seen walking side by side, eating together, at times even travelling together to and from Katima and sharing concerns on development issues for the region.

I really admired them and my wish is that all Swapo members in the region, as well as comrades Siyauya and Mukupi could emulate them so that tribalism could be minimized or even completely eradicated because practising it is against the Swapo Party letter and spirit.

What I also deduced from the article is that both comrade Siyauya and comrade Mukupi are not on talking terms and never consulted each other.

This type of attitude is due to mistrust emanating from tribal conviction and belief and I am of the opinion that two wrongs never make a right.

I also noted that in as much as Siyauya could have been wrong in allegedly insinuating and inferring that the majority of the Mafwe are symphathetic to secessionism, Mukupi could also have been guilty of slander by insinuating that Siyauya is allegedly trying to advance his tribe at the expense of other tribes in the region.

On the other hand, most people in the Caprivi Region are Christians who should be able to practise love for each other as prescribed in the Bible and should therefore stop “pointing at the small feather in their neighbour’s eye when there is a peg in their own eye”

It will therefore not help to discuss tribalism with innocent traditional leaders while ignoring the intellectuals in and outside the region who are in fact instigating tribal conflicts behind the scenes and pretending cunningly that they have nothing to do with tribalism.

One example of a speech inciting tribal conflict is that which was broadcast on the local Silozi Service Radio during the Lusata Cultural Ceremony held at Chinchimane on 24 September 2006. The speaker was not a chief but despite the fact that the listeners know that what he was preaching was wrong, no one has been honest enough to condemn it with the scorn and contempt it deserves.

I am therefore genuinely appealing to all peace-loving residents of the region, Swapo and non-Swapo to change their tribal attitudes and start associating with each other for the sake of peace which should be a priority above their political ambitions.

They should stop holding secret meetings not known to other comrades to discuss political issues related to the Swapo Party. They should also develop a culture of openly criticizing those who instigate tribal conflicts even if they are from their own tribes, because tribalism is a very destructive evil that has destroyed many nations in Africa in particular.

United we stand, divided we fall

Concerned citizen and swapo member

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