Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu has called on residents of the Zambezi to unite in the fight against tribalism instigators in the region.
Sampofu was speaking at a press briefing last Friday attended by Minister of Justice Dr Albert Kawana, the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Stanley Simataa, the Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, James Sankwasa, regional heads of various ministries in the region and traditional leaders.
Speaking at the press briefing Sampofu cited recent critical aspects that are destabilising peace, singling out tribalism which has and continues to besiege the Zambezi, a region that is infamously known as a tribal hotbed involving mainly members of the Mafwe and Masubia tribes.
Sampofu pointed out that since taking up office he has been advocating for the fight against tribalism, however his efforts have been in vain as tribalism appears to have reached boiling point in the region.
“This has been my song – I even established the Chiefs’ Forum with the sole purpose of fighting tribalism. However, this year we will not have the Chiefs’ Forum meeting because not all of them always turn up,” he said.
Sampofu also acknowledged that the youth from the region have resorted to the use of social media to promote the evils of tribalism, while others use social media to spread secessionist propaganda.
Secessionism and even part of the current tribalism is partly attributed to failed politician Mishake Muyongo, who bolted from the country after he was implicated in the secessionist uprising in 1999.
“It is regrettable that some individuals have resorted to use social media to advance the agenda of tribalism and even secession. Fighting each other through these social platforms will never take us anywhere. Working together in unity of purpose will bring peace, safety, security, harmony and economic development,” advised Sampofu.
“Let us use social media to discuss things that will bring development – we are left behind compared to other regions, because while we are busy talking about tribalism, others are talking about how to develop their regions,” stressed Sampofu.
While reading a long history about the region Sampofu explained how its boundaries were established and that the Zambezi has been part of Namibia ever since, and still is. Sampofu also made reference to recent reports about maps in circulation about a certain country named Zambesia.
“We recently witnessed what appears to be a one-person membership of the so-called Movement for the Survival of the River Races in Zambesia. This known individual is promoting scattered papers of explorers, including maps that were drawn before the international boundaries of Namibia. It is claimed that the so-called people of Zambesia are separated from Namibia and constitute a separate country. This claim is simply dismissed with the contempt it deserves,” he said.
Sampofu further called on residents to be on the lookout and report to his office those with secessionist ideas and when found the perpetrators will be dealt with accordingly.