The Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa said inter-ethnic marriages are one of the ways Namibians can fend off the advances of tribalism.
Courtesy visits between various tribal authorities would also help bridge cultural and ethnic distances in the country, the former governor of Omusati Region said.
She said tribal conflicts now taking place within various local and regional authorities and between tribal authorities would be no longer tolerated.
Shaningwa, who is assigned to lead the party within the Oshana Region, was speaking at the launch of the Swapo Party’s election campaign at Ondangwa on Saturday.
According to her, Namibians should strive to promote peace and stability, rather than promoting divisions that can lead to civil war.
“We don’t want to carry guns anymore. I’m wearing my high heels and I don’t want to wear boots anymore. Our children need to go to school and get their education, so that they can develop our country. We can no longer afford war,” she said.
“Peace is our biggest asset. I don’t want to hear that Aandonga and Ovakwanyama candidates do not understand each other. I don’t want to hear that Aakwambi and Aangandjera candidates do not understand each other. No! If I hear such things again, I’ll tell the president,” she warned.
“Before you consider your village, know that you are serving Namibia first,” she said.
Shaningwa said party members and the country at large, through nominated party candidates that may eventually become national leaders, should strive for unity, education and development for all Namibians, irrespective of their ethnicity, skin colour or region of origin. She said Namibians should strive for harmonious integration and should respect peace.
“Let us have inter-tribal marriages, traditional authorities should work together and tribal chiefs must visit others. We cannot have a country where only one tribe or ethnic group rules. If Aambaanhu people are the only ones ruling the country, what are we going to do with Ovakwanyama people?”
“Our children will not know that they are Damara, Nama, Aawambo or Ovaherero. They will only know that they are Namibians. Even today if I go to the United Kingdom, I’ll never say I am from Ombaanhu, I will say I am Namibian. Our peace must be respected,” she said.