Apologies not enough to combat tribalism

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Namibia may not yet have retrogressed into a Mickey Mouse or banana republic but may head in that direction soon if some of the current happenings are not swiftly arrested.

One pointer to this is the privately held conversations by high-profile public officials that carried heavy tribal undertones.

Among these hordes beholding such beliefs, some of which can be described and seen as fascist and tribalist, have been governors – the latest to join the fray of open fascists and tribalists being the governor of Omusati Region.

This governor has been lately heard and reported as regurgitating all kinds of tribal verbiage against the Aandonga people. Only once the reality of his regurgitations had dawned on the governor did he realise the seriousness of the tribal venom he spewed.

It was upon that point that the governor decided to scurry around in an apparent bid at an apology sommersault. Akin to that of his other fellows who, having indulged their tribal venoms, and realising the societal abomination to their presumably only privately held beliefs, if not the political repercussions thereof, in most cases induced by political principals, who feigned some halfhearted apologies.

It is actually the essence and genuineness of the avowed apologies that must be subjected to scrutiny – because besides the outlandishness of the tribal verbiages, the avowed apologies have never been questioned and, at best, have been taken for granted.

The bottom line is not whether eventually those beholding the views they have been beholding about a section of the communities they have been assumed to have been governing over, behold such views or not, and/or whether they are private or not.

Holding such fascist and tribalist views in the first place, as private as they may be, is betrayal of the trust the nation has in these leaders.

But the fact is such fascist views seem rampant, rife, even among those who are supposed to hold high office, and thus to be equally of higher character, even in their beliefs as has been proven lately by some governors. Thus, the issue must and should not ultimately be whether having slipped one’s tongue, and apologising subsequently, such apology should and must be acceptable as biblical truth of regret.

The most revealing and reawakening thing is that among our personas of high office are those who subscribe to such fascism and tribalism. Thus, the pertinent question is whether such fascists and tribalists must be allowed to hold public office and serve without prejudice?

Not only this, but one cannot but wonder and doubt what the avowed apologies may have been for? For holding the said views and beliefs? Because it has been apparent that the apologies have not much been for beholding the views and beliefs, but for making such public eventually.

This means that as much as those holding such views and beliefs may have apologised, it does not mean such views and beliefs do not remain dear to them. As privately as they may have been to them one cannot doubt that indeed they have been dear to them. And one cannot but wonder for how long these public officials have been housing such views and beliefs about people they are supposed to lead.

Our governors and other public officials are not only in a position of influence, but one of trust too. Meaning that being in that position, especially one of trust, they cannot ordinarily be expected to subscribe and uphold certain views and beliefs, like tribalism, sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.

Ordinarily we may not be in a position to know what beliefs those with public trust adhere to, as they may most of the time hold such privately. But when such become public, and that some of them somehow are unapologetic and unrepentant subscribers and adherents to fascist beliefs, then surely there is no way the public ordinarily can be expected to bestow trust in them.

Yes, they are entitled to believe in their fascist ideologies but they cannot believe, adhere to and espouse them and at the same time pretend to be the servants of those against whom their fascist ideas are directed.

Many governors and/or pubic officials have revealed who they really are, only to apologise. How genuine can these apologies really have been? How can we really know that they no longer believe in such ideologies, and privately they do not espouse and even practise them? There’s really no means of knowing, meaning the avowed apologies in the end are meaningless.

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