Some “selfish” whites are tainting reconciliation
ARCHITECT of Namibia’s reconciliation pact as chairman of the Constituent Assembly in 1990, President Hage Geingob’s remarks, in which he has been accused of infringing on the constitutional rights of white Namibians may have been taken out of context and thus need sober introspection.
Throughout Geingob’s illustrious political career, unity of purpose, equality and togetherness have been the key themes in his political rhetoric even before he held high political office.
We would recall that in his work in the Constituent Assembly installed after the first multi-racial, universal franchise elections in Namibian history; Geingob was instrumental in the crafting of the constitution which remains a cornerstone in maintaining political cohesion between the formerly oppressed and their oppressors.
The very same compromise document has been advantaging white monopoly capital rather than providing a fair and equitable redistribution of wealth for the sake of national reconciliation.
With the exception of several self-less white businesses, facts remain that the policy of national reconciliation has been used as a stumbling block to empower formerly disadvantaged economic enterprises.
The few successful black businesses that dared to enter the terrain of white dominated industries have been met with resistance and connivance to prevent them from claiming their share of the economy.
Yet, the government of the day has rather been in acquiescence to intervene with policy mechanisms to compel white monopoly industries to assist formerly disadvantaged businesses.
In this view, to claim that Geingob is anti-white and is threatening the rights of white Namibians could be far-fetched.
What is more realistic is that Geingob’s remarks emanate from a historical background in which the Swapo-led government has been accommodating white monopoly interest in a country with the gross inequality.
The National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) which was a government blueprint to reduce inequality provides a perfect example where it was stopped following consultations with white Namibians by the government. This follows a social contract that has been existent between the ruling party and whites over the last 30 years. Surely, for some members of the same community to claim that the Swapo government is anti-white is a smack in the face.
Without doubt therefore, the context is not that Geingob intends to threaten the democratic rights of white Namibians or at the very least force them to act in certain way, it is the social contract that appears to be falling apart on account of the some white Namibians to which Geingob responded, “I have heard you.”
It is also important to make the consideration that when Geingob spoke over the weekend while launching a campaign strategy for his party; he spoke in a Swapo cap and not as the president of the country. His remarks which are well within the confines of general political rhetoric should thus be contextualised correctly without painting hallucinatory future prospects that defeat what Geingob and Swapo have stood for over the last three decades. From his first term of office, he has maintained one Namibian house where everyone is equal and accommodated.