Namibian president Hage Geingob says tribalism and racism were not as widespread as perceived in Namibia.
Geingob said what was happening in the country was just greed from people who want to get rich quickly. The president was responding to questions during a media briefing on whether Namibia can learn a lesson from Rwanda on how to abolish racism and tribalism
“People start saying that they are left out, but in doing that, they show anger. I am from a minority. If tribalism was there, I would not be president. Racism and tribalism are not pervasive in Namibia”.
“But sometimes it is also caused by poverty. When people feel they are left out and/or when a person is successful, they always go and say I, I, I, but when they fail, they go back and say they are left out,” he said.
The president said this during a media briefing after his meeting with Rwandan president Paul Kagame at State House.
The middle-eastern African country has successfully recovered from the tragedy of the 1994 genocide caused by long-standing ethnic divisions.
Rwandan president said tribalism or any other divisive politics were not good for any country.
He said every country, including Namibia, has the capability of overcoming tribalism, racism and ethnic division if people come together for a common cause.
He said political leaders should also commit to solving these kinds of problems.
“It is a problem that can be addressed. I have no doubt that Namibia is also faced with such a problem. People have within themselves the capacity to overcome this challenge or any other challenge”.
“It is necessary for people to look at what is of common interest to them, and use whatever differences there are for opening up a discussion that drives towards the common good for all of them, and not just for one group or another,” said Kagame.
“This is the foundation one has to step on to move forward to deal with any division or tribalism,” Kagame stressed.
Kagame was questioned during the meeting about speculations of ruling Rwanda with a tight fist and the suppression of freedom of the media and of expression
Reports also show that those who criticise, “insult or defame Rwanda’s head of state can be jailed for a minimum of five years”.
The head of state dismissed these allegations, saying that those writing stories about oppression in Rwanda do not have the correct information about his country.
He also claimed that people in his country were happy with his administration.
“I have come to be president on the basis and the choice of the people, and I think together as a country, we have been making good progress on many fronts.
“I can confidently say here that the people of my country are working very hard to improve their lives, and they are happy with what they have, whether it comes to their leaders or each other,” he said.
Kagame added: “These are also stereotypes from the Europeans that Africans can’t go far, that Africans have to be doing things which need to be validated by other people somewhere. We don’t need anybody’s validation. We want to do things that benefit us.”