Outapi-Omusati governor Erginus Endjala has issued a public apology to the nation regarding tribally-charged remarks he made in a secretly-recorded audio clip against Aandonga people, politicians and youth activists.
During an urgent press conference at Outapi yesterday morning, Endjala admitted to have had a private conversation with Swapo member Taimi Tekla Iimbili at the end of June, but said he was not aware that their conversation was being recorded.
An audio clip of more than 50 minutes has since surfaced, during which the governor appeared to accuse Aandonga of being power hungry and non-adherent to Swapo statutes and traditions.
He cited, as an example, Swapo’s Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu, Affirmative Repositioning co-founder Job Amupanda and the late Andreas Shipanga as among those who have had clashes with the Swapo leadership.
Endjala expressed shock at what he termed as betrayal by Iimbili, whom she accuse of leading him into temptations of saying the things he said. He accused Iimbili of having ulterior motives.
The tribal undertones he made have caused a major national outcry, with social media users particularly saying the remarked have the potential to further widen tribal divisions in the country. Many have urged the governor to do the honourable thing and resign from the important office he holds.
An emotional Endjala said the motive was to portray him as a tribalist, but denied he was one.
Endjala alleged that at some point he tried to end the long phone conversation but Iimbili kept asking him more questions, to which he responded without knowing he was being recorded.
“I therefore with to personally express my sincere apologies firstly to His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, as my appointing authority and I wholeheartedly apologise to those whom the discussion may have caused any inconveniences or pain,” he apologised profusely.
He says it is not the first time Iimbili had called him.
“It is human, and for me in my own capacity, I also did not expect the private discussion to have been recorded and circulated in that fashion. I am not a tribalist as being portrayed,” he said.
Contacted for comment Iimbili admitted she had several telephonic conversations with the governor but denied that she had anything to do with the circulation of the audio. She, rather startlingly, has denied knowledge of the recording and insisted she did not listen to it.