Ya Ndakolo to Geingob ‘haters’:Stay in your houses and shut up

Oshikoto regional governor Penda ya Ndakolo

“Stay in your houses and shut up if you have nothing positive to say about comrade Hage Geingob.”

These were the words of Oshikoto regional governor Penda ya Ndakolo, speaking at president Hage Geingob’s regional memorial service at Omuthiya on Wednesday.

Ya Ndakolo said Geingob’s death has hurt him, and added that those who are not hurt by his death should keep quiet.

Geingob has done a lot for the country, he said.

He said the policy of national reconciliation should be respected as it did not come easy.

“If there are those who are saying other bad things, you are distracting our peace. [sic] Do you know that democracy is in the hands of those who are leading?

“If they had the same thinking as yours, you may not be able to be talking like that by writing things on social media. These are the good people who are dying,” Ya Ndakolo said.

“Stay in your houses and shut up if you have nothing positive to say about comrade Hage Geingob. And remember that peace must be well guarded all the time . . . Let’s not spoil peace,” he said.

“The journey was not easy to achieve national reconciliation. And many of you want to lead. How will we be in your hands in the future if you are behaving like that?

“Many of you are saying colonialism has ended. Do you Namibians even know what colonialism is? This has been a word that has been bothering me for a long time,” he said.

The governor said he had been given the chance to be close to Geingob.

“He was the man who appointed me to become the minister of defence. He gave me the chance to work with everyone, including those from the police force and everywhere.

“I have travelled with him to different countries on a number of occasions. That is why I thank him, his spirit, for appointing me to become a defence minister, and he left me as a regional governor,” Ya Ndakolo said.

He said Geingob gave him two letters of appreciation, thanking him for a job well done.

He said Geingob told him he would go back to Oshikoto and said his words were his command.

“He gave me a chance to meet different world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin. I have a lot of things in my heart, and some of them I think are not meant to be in your hearts and heard by you.

“I will die with them because they are our secrets with the late president,” the governor said.

“There are people among us celebrating death. How on earth can a person celebrate the death of somebody? Is he or she okay in his or her mind? They are writing things on social media.”

Ya Ndakolo said the late president believed in collective leadership, never wanted to be a one-man show, and disliked tribalism.

He said Geingob believed in democracy, fairness and justice for all.

“He is a man who deemed it fit to have town hall meetings, getting the input of all citizens in Namibia,” he said.

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says statements from a regional leader, such as those of a Ndakolo are unfortunate and should be avoided.

Kamwanyah says a government represents people from different political affiliations and criticism is part of politics.

“When politicians or people criticise Geingob’s policies, it does not mean they hate him or do not like him. Criticism is part of politics, and it can be used by a president to identify gaps in policies and help find solutions,” he says.

“It is childish for a governor to make such comments at a time when the nation is mourning. Death is sacred and even those who may have hated the president will go through the process of death,” he says.

Kamwanyah says the public’s reactions on social media should not be taken personally as it represents a minority.

“The majority of Namibians are mourning, and those on social media represent the minority. You will meet the president’s death with a lot of reactions, but do not generalise it and come to conclusions. Death must unite us and not divide us,” he says.

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