Ombudsman launches racism, tribalism and discrimination report

23 Nov 2017 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 23 NOV (NAMPA) – Ombudsman John Walters on Thursday launched a report on a national inquiry into racism, racial and other forms of discrimination and tribalism.
The report named ‘A nation divided: Why do racism and other forms of discrimination still persist 27 years after independence?’ was compiled by the office of the Ombudsman after public hearings to establish the level of discrimination in Namibia.
The report deals with issues of access to justice, disability, indigenous people, land resettlement, media and the Internet, education, employment, health and many others. It was tabled in National Assembly earlier this month.
Speaking at the launch, Walters said it is a notorious fact that Namibia is a divided nation as people still refer to themselves as “Basters, Caprivians, Hereros, Wambos, Whites and others”.
“After I have listened to people’s life experiences, I am convinced that racism indeed exists in Namibia,” he said.
The Ombudsman pointed out that there is an urgent need for unlearning of racial languages and dismantling of fixed identities through radical change.
He said research has shown that effective remedies are unavailable or unhelpful to victims’ racism, racial discrimination and racism in general.
“It is for this reasons that we suggest the creation of an informal and inexpensive tribunal, where victims can tell their stories so that systematic inequality, racism, racial discrimination may be eradicated,” said Walters.
He noted that the local anti-discrimination laws fail dismally to bring about social change as they disempower those who experience racial discrimination.
The public hearings were held during June and July this year in Windhoek in the Khomas Region, Gobabis in the Omaheke Region, Katima Mulilo and Omega 3 in the Zambezi Region, Opuwo in Kunene Region and Tsumkwe in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Walters said he chose the specific towns because they have high concentration of marginalised people.