Ui/o/oo in surprise motion move
By Maria Kandjungu
SWAPO parliamentarian and deputy minister for marginalised communities, Royal Ui/o/oo took a surprising stance this week when he supported Swanu’s nation reconciliation policy, a motion which has been widely criticised and opposed by all other Swapo parliamentarians.
The motion tabled by the leader of the South West Africa National Union (Swanu), Tangeni Iiyambo has stirred a lot of emotions in the National Assembly and has led to chaos and disruption on several occasions.
Ui/o/oo said he was supporting the motion as marginalised communities and individuals in Namibia who have suffered and been disadvantaged for a long time, yearn for reconciliation.
“I personally support the bill, simply because with it, there will be a change of relationship from hostility to harmony among people and peace will prevail, if well instituted, managed and implemented,” he stated while excited members of opposition parties could been seen clapping and banging on tables.
“At its core, reconciliation is about restoring the right relationships between people who have been enemies. Apologies and forgiveness can help bridge the victim’s need for acknowledgement and the perpetrator’s desire to reclaim humanity,” he added.
His support however came as a surprise especially when most of his party members including Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Deputy PM and International Relations Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab, have strongly opposed the motion saying it tarnishes Swapo’s image and undermines the works of the ruling party.
MPs such as Tom Alweendo also rejected the motion saying that while the issue of national reconciliation is of importance, the motion had been tabled in a way that was contrary to the fact, stating the motion as presented by Iiyambo does not support unity nor encourage inclusivity.
He further added that Iiyambo was using the issue to score political points and settle personal issues.
In affirmation, Home Affairs Minister Frans Kapofi also took a jab at Iiyambo stating that the Swanu MP was using the platform to prove his own political relevance and to also get back at Swapo for things that took place years ago.
“To you honourable Iiyambo, Swapo owes you no apology, not now, not tomorrow… it is therefore my considered opinion that the motion be rejected,” said Kapofi.
Iiyambo said the reconciliation policy adapted after independence by Swapo has had no meaningful, profound or transformational consequence economically for most Namibians over the past three decades.
According to him, the peace and stability mantra, is employed merely as a ruse to avoid confronting difficult issues and is meant to benefit and protect the interests of Swapo.
“The failure to confront the ugly and painful truth of our past will allow the hatred, antagonism, distrust, disrespect and pain to fester, until it erupts to destroy the flimsy and false foundations we have laid for the future of Namibia.”
He said Swapo’s euphoria of victory and reigning triumphalism would not secure a legacy of peace.
Iiyambo believes the situation of the former Koevoet and SWATF soldiers needs to be addressed, and that there is also a need to open talks about a number of issues such as the Lubango dungeons matter.