Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele yesterday denied allegations of tribalism leveled against him, saying the recorded audio attributed to him was maliciously tampered with.
Ueitele has come under fire after a widely circulated audio recording, a copy of which New Era obtained, of him relating his views to Bakgalagadi ba Namibia Chief Hubert Ditsabue and his daughter, Josepha Ditsabue, the treasurer of the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC). “I don’t want to be tribal, but what I can tell you is that Hereros are the sort of people who do not respect other tribes. Hereros are backstabbers,” Ueitele is heard telling Hubert and Josepha in the audio that Ueitele now says was tampered with.
But yesterday Ueitele maintained his record in working with diverse Namibian communities without fear or favour is unparalleled. “At no stage was it my intention to vilify, denounce and patronise the Ovaherero corpus, as it is being misinterpreted,” Ueitele said at a press conference in Gobabis.
“In my capacity as governor, I have in many instances refused to do favours to these known individuals when they requested me to use my political influence for the advancement of their own individual and personal interests, at the expense of other inhabitants of the region, he claimed. “And if by this measure I have to bear the burden of political victimisation, so be it.”
He said the attempt made through the wide circulation of the said sound clip aims to taint his name and reputation in the eyes of the Ovaherero people. It is regrettable and should be rejected with the utmost contempt it deserves, he said.
“This is an affront to the Ovaherero people, who are not party to these dealings, as the ulterior motives evidenced are to serve only the interest of such people who are using these totally false, baseless and unfounded allegations to jeopardise and to destabilise national unity and political coherence in the country in general and the Omaheke Region in particular,” he said.
Ueitele said as governor of the region he has been regularly made aware of clandestine meetings held by those who are strategising to unseat non-Otjiherero-speaking Namibians who occupy key government and ruling party positions in Omaheke.