Presidential Affairs Minister Frans Kapofi says there are no new developments regarding the letter written by President Hage Geingob requesting Land Reform Deputy Minister Clinton Swartbooi to apologise for the remark he made about Minister Utoni Nujoma at Hoachanas regarding the resettlement programme.
According to media reports, Swartbooi accused Nujoma of resettling people from as far as the Zambezi Region in the south ahead of the local Nama people.
Swartbooi was quoted by The Namibian Sun saying what Nujoma was doing with the land resettlement is “unacceptable”.
Also, according to Swartbooi, Nujoma “must” be called to order and suggested that he (Swartbooi) does not work for Nujoma but for Geingob.
During a telephonic conversation here yesterday, Kapofi told The Patriot that there were no official development surrounding the matter.
“There are no new developments, unless it was communicated to the President himself,” said Kapofi. According reports circulating in the media, Swartbooi was given 24 hours (a day) by Geingob to apologise and withdraw the remarks he had made about Nujoma as the words carried a potential to “disrupt” peace and stability in the country.
In a Kapofi-signed letter leaked to The Namibian on Wednesday, Geingob said that comments made by Swartbooi should not be made by a public official who has taken an oath to “uphold and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia,” In the past, Omaheke regional Governor Festus Ueitele accused people of the Ovaherero tribe of being backstabbers, practising double standards and were disrespectful of other tribes. In similar fashion, Geingob demanded, through a heavily worded letter, that Ueitele publicly apologise for his utterances.
The Omaheke Governor did apologise, although the apology met with mixed feelings with some members of the community accusing him of not being sincere. Whether or not Swartbooi apologises remains to be seen because opinions are divided about the issue. Also, some high profile leaders have publicly shown their support for Swartbooi.
The Namibia Sun reported that Kai //Khaun chief, Simon Kooper, said Swartbooi must not apologise for “speaking the truth”.
Efforts to get clarity from Swartbooi proved futile, as he could not be reached on his mobile phone by the time of going to print.
It is the second time this year that Geingob made one of his appointees apologise for their utterances.
Omaheke governor Festus Ueitele was forced to bowedto pressure from the President over tribal remarks he made, he was subsequently forced to back down although he refuses to be labelled as a tribalist. “I unreservedly and from the bottom of my heart, tender my apology to the Ovaherero community and seek their forgiveness.
I also go further and tender my apology to any community or individuals whom I might have offended,” Ueitele apologised at the time.
President Hage Geingob was not impressed with Omaheke governor Festus Uietele over claims that he made tribal remarks against the dominant Ovaherero community in that region and instructed Uietele to apologise. Geingob wrote a letter to Ueitele after learning of the issues between the Governor and the Ovaherero community of the Region.
“In substance, the President instructed the Governor to “take concrete steps to bring calm to the situation by issuing a public apology to the Ovaherero Community to restore the spirit of peace, unity and trust within the Omaheke Region,” said the President at the time.