President Appeals for End to Violence

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By Petronella Sibeene

KEETMANSHOOP

Recent cases of alleged political violence in some parts of the country have prompted President Hifikepunye Pohamba to call on all political leaders to urgently speak to their members to ensure no one engages in politically motivated violence.

“This is what I am asking political leaders to do and it should be done now. No more war. The war we should fight is poverty, ignorance and others,” the President said.

The President made this appeal during a Swapo Party star rally on Saturday at Keetmanshoop in the Karas Region.

He said Namibia had seen enough deaths during the liberation struggle. “We do not want to see any deaths caused by political violence. We want stability and not war,” he maintained.

Pohamba reminded the country of the Kenyan situation where over a thousand people have died from politically motivated clashes.

He said political violence causes destruction to the socio-economic growth of a nation.

Pohamba, as president of the Swapo Party, also appealed to his party members never to engage in squabbles with others belonging to different political affiliations.

If provoked, Pohamba told his party members to report to the police.

“Do not take the law into your hands. Report to the police if provoked because the police will, by law, ensure that order is maintained,” he added.

At a rally attended by over 600 people mainly youths, Pohamba said Namibians should embrace unity, promote honesty, transparency, fairness and tolerance but reject tribalism.

Founding President of the Swapo Party, Sam Nujoma, expressed disappointment at Namibians that according to him have “chosen to ignore our achievements, including the peace and tranquility that we enjoy today in Namibia”.

He told the audience that such individuals have chosen to trigger tribalism and ethnicity and divide Namibians.

“We had enough of apartheid colonialism and its divisive tendencies of divide-and-rule … we should therefore never allow ourselves to be divided again,” he said.

Among the many prominent Swapo members who attended the rally at Keetmanshoop were vice president of the Swapo Party, Hage Geingob, deputy secretary general of the party Nangolo Mbumba and members of the Swapo Party Central Committee.

Pohamba introduced the Swapo Party leadership and so far, similar rallies have been held in the Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Erongo, Khomas and Karas regions.

At the rally, Pohamba also pointed at achievements made by the Swapo Party during its rule, which included building of roads, hospitals and clinics, schools, railways, housing, telecommunication infrastructure, potable water systems and rural electrification.

While many people have criticised the education system, Pohamba says the Government has prioritised education and training.

“The Swapo Party Government has embarked on educational reforms and is currently in the process of implementing recommendations by the Presidential Commission on Education,” he said.

A National Youth Service was also established to ensure that Grades 10 and 12 school leavers acquire skills relevant to the job market.

Looking at the health sector in the Karas Region, Pohamba said clinics have been built in Berseba, Tses, Karasburg, Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer, among other projects.

“Our aim is to provide high quality health care to our people,” he said.

The Karas Region is home to the Scorpion Zinc Mine that has created thousands of jobs for residents. The mine, the President said, has boosted the region’s economy.

Industrial parks have also been set up with the aim to enable upcoming entrepreneurs to produce and market their products.

He reminded aspiring SMEs in the region to approach the Development Bank of Namibia, a financial institution that mobilises resources for emerging SMEs.

Other projects initiated by the Government for the Karas Region are the Aussenkehr grape project, the Namibia Grape Company and the Karas Development Trust at Stolzensfels and Komsberg.

The projects have not only created more than 9??????’??

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