President Hage Geingob has blasted individuals that are instigating tribalism, nepotism and regionalism, saying some of the guilty might have been in America or Europe for 25 years and forgotten about their tribe or region, but the moment they are in trouble it becomes a tribal thing.
“Shame on those people, they should be exposed,” Geingob said yesterday when he addressed members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) at Grootfotnein Amy Base in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the country’s armed forces that include the army, navy and the air force.
“Once you develop this line of thinking you are practising tribalism.
“One example I can give you is when a tribalist is doing well, he or she forgets their tribe or region – but when a tribalist is in trouble, he or she starts speaking French. After saying ‘I’ suddenly the person starts saying do you know what happened to us Damaras/Kwanyamas, we voted for the ruling (Swapo) party but now we are ignored and left out,” said Geingob.
At the same time he urged members of the force to steer clear of such practices.
“If you preoccupy yourselves with identifying only with people from your tribe and region and ensuring that only they enjoy preference, then you are defeating the principles on which the Namibian house has been built.
“Such tribalism, racism, nepotism, regionalism and corruption have destroyed many countries and continue to do so. We cannot allow that to happen to us,” said Geingob, maintaining that such divisive evils should be rooted out.
He further stressed that the policy and ideals of harambee should apply to the armed forces as well, because if the force cannot defend its citizens, and peace and security of the country, if the force is divided along tribal, regional and language lines, then the nation is heading for trouble.
“Victory on the battlefield, whether it is fighting against a conventional enemy or fighting against poverty, needs teamwork and coordination,” added Geingob.