The Namibian (Windhoek)

6 July 2012

Namibia: Tribalism, Politics Are Destroying Africa - Iilonga

"DIFFERENT tribes, races and politicians have come together and fought long and hard for a united Namibian nation. If we do no stay united, but allow divisions to come between tribes and languages and races and politicians, we will go back from where we came," the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Peter Iilonga, has warned.

He was speaking at Karibib on Wednesday during the official ending of an 'intervention agreement' between NamWater and the Karibib Town Council.

In terms of the agreement, implemented eight years ago, NamWater took full control of the town's water to help Karibib pay back a N$2 million debt.

The agreement came to an end on Wednesday and control of the water services was handed back to the town council because both parties felt that the town was now ready to properly manage its own affairs.

Iilonga's comments latched onto a comment by NamWater CEO Vaino Shivute that in order for towns to be run efficiently, there must be "diligent smart management", and that poor management was blamed on a lack of commitment from the town's leaders and their staff.

"The councillors are elected on the basis of their party manifesto, whichever party they are representing. But the recent history of some local authorities in Namibia is not encouraging at all - if anything, one can describe this situation as a letdown to the inhabitants of the particular [towns] concerned. Forget about politics and tribalism," said Iilonga. "It's politics and tribalism that are destroying Africa nations."

According to him, supporters of different political parties are telling fellow residents that they should not pay their municipal accounts because of their opposition to the political views of the town's leaders.

"It's these issues that lead to poor administration and make the community suffer," he said.

He said all leaders, no matter their party or tribe, must have the same determination to develop Namibia, in unity, and to ensure that quality services are delivered to the citizens.

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