Swapo denounces Keetmanshoop street fights

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WINDHOEK, 22 July 2016 - Swapo Party Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba delivers the opening statement at the Swapo-Party Elders' Council (SPEC) capacity building workshop on leadership in Windhoek. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-The Swapo politburo has strongly condemned the recent violent street fights in Keetmanshoop, which were triggered by negative tribal attitudes.

Last week, confrontations erupted after Nama and Aawambo people got into ugly running battles at Ileni informal settlement in Keetmanshoop.

Yesterday the Swapo Party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba, in announcing the outcome of the party’s first 2017 politburo meeting, expressed concern over the incident.

“The political bureau called upon all Namibians, irrespective of their social status, to always strive for unity and shun tribalism and discrimination. Namibia belongs to all Namibians, all of them. We must be able to live together in peace and harmony,” he cautioned.

It was reported that residents armed with machetes, knives, knobkerries, spears and other weapons chased each other around shacks and threw stones at each other, while gunshots were also fired, injuring one person.

Mbumba said President Hage Geingob called upon the Swapo leadership to combat retrogressive tendencies of tribalism, ethnicity, regionalism and personality cult, among other ill practices.

Mbumba also said the politburo noted with great concern the increasing tendencies of insults towards the leadership of the party.

Therefore, the party’s top leadership called upon Swapo members to safeguard the party against infiltration and destabilization.

Regarding the heated debates on the land question among landless Namibians, he said the politburo felt that Namibia and her resources (land, minerals) belong to all Namibians.

“The political bureau also noted with concern the demands for ancestral land. None has the right over any of these resources exclusively more than others,” he maintained.

Additionally, Mbumba said the politburo thanked the government for withholding the proposed Land Bill from the National Assembly until the second land conference is held.

Geingob announced last week the postponement of the re-tabling of the Land Bill in favour of a national dialogue, at which all are expected to fully interrogate the issue of land.

Therefore, Mbumba said, the politburo called on the nation to exercise patience over the land issue in order to allow the conference to deliberate on the matter and seek best possible solutions.

“The Government of the Republic is seized with the problem of land in our beloved country. Under the President’s personal and national leadership – he who chaired the first land conference of 1991 – proper preparations will be made to ensure the success of the [second] land conference,” he promised.

He called on all Namibians with deep historic interest in the land issue to prepare their well thought-out arguments, reasoning, theories and historic records and exercise caution at all material times to avoid stoking emotions.

He said in preparation for the Swapo Party congress towards the end of the year, the politburo resolved to establish preparatory sub-committees to take charge of specific assignments relating to the congress.

Moreover, Mbumba said Geingob urged all Swapo leaders at all levels to strive for unity of purpose and action.

“He stressed that 2017 is a year of rededication. Rededication to ideals of Swapo Party as per the Swapo Party constitution. Rededication to unite the people of Namibia, irrespective of their racial or ethnic origins or gender, into a democratic peaceful nation,” Mbumba said.

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