Put ethnic and tribal differences aside: Mudge

14 Jul 2014 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 JUL (NAMPA) – Former Republican Party (RP) president Dirk Mudge has called on opposition parties to refrain from seeing themselves as the opposition, and to rather see themselves as alternate governments.
“Let us assist the government where we can, and desist from only criticising,” the retired politician said at the official opening of his party's congress in Windhoek on Saturday.
To the government, Mudge had this to say.
“Do not forget that opposition parties (also) wrote the Namibian constitution. We wrote the constitution together, so let us jointly discuss outstanding problems, and try to solve them together. Prepare to sacrifice and sit at one table with members of the opposition for the sake of Namibia’s development,” he advised.
Namibians can justifiably claim that the country’s democracy has reached the age of maturity, and they can now insist that the country be governed in a mature and responsible manner for the benefit of all citizens, he added.
He also expressed his wishes and dreams during the party’s congress, now led by his son Henk Mudge.
“Please, our constitution should never be seen as a contract between enemies. Let us try to build a united nation, which is called Namibia,” he noted.
He thus called on Namibians to put aside their tribal and ethnic differences, and work together towards the development of the country.
“Racial and ethnic issues will always be there. I cannot turn myself into a black or Oshiwambo- speaking person. I will always be white and an Afrikaner.
But do not let race and ethnicity divide us. We are always Namibians, and we must be Namibians first,” reiterated the retired politician.
He also urged RP members to start campaigning for the upcoming elections, telling them that he has definitely retired from politics.
“I am not campaigning for you this time around. Forget about it, it is over to you,” he stressed.
Namibians are going to the polls in November this year to elect the country's President and Members of Parliament.
Mudge was born in Otjiwarongo on 16 January 1928.
He was a member of the Constituent Assembly, and first National Assembly from 1989 to 1994.
He broke away from the National Party, and sided with the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia (DTA of Namibia).
Mudge was chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1980 to 1983, whereafter he resigned due to a lack of progress in independence talks.
Joining the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) upon its founding in June 1985, he was chairman of the TGNU in 1986 and 1988.
In 1984, he petitioned the apartheid South African government for the release of Namibian leader Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
Mudge was the chairman of the DTA during the 1989 election to the Constituent Assembly.