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Sunday 20 January 2019
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Open Letter to His Excellency President Dr. Hage Geingob on Genocide, Apology – Reparation and Restoration

Dear editor, please allow me to express my democratic right of freedom of speech and expression with my country President on the contemporary issue of Ovaherero and Nama Genocide committed by German government from 1904-1908. I am writing this episode to communicate directly with you my President and to share with you why the Ovaherero and Nama people, in Namibia and those in the Diaspora being the direct victims of the genocide, must be at the front table during the negotiation process for the reparation for the genocide committed against their ancestors. The Nationalisation of the Genocide issue and to limit the negotiations only to the two governments’ representative envoys to negotiate without the presence of the descendants of the victim is not the only way to implement the legislature adopted motions as it will exclude the decedent of the ancestors who fled this country as refugee in search of asylum from Neighbouring countries
Your Excellency, your stand and position to make the Ovaherero and Nama Genocide National issue is not a welcoming idea as the first motion on this issue which was moved by the late Dr. Hon. Kuaima Riruako (May His Soul Rest in Internal Peace) on the 19th 0f September 2006, was adopted in the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia and that makes it a legal instrument that we need to uphold but not deviate from any single sentence contained therein.The truth about what really transpired between 1904 and 1908 must not be distorted by any means. But this must not be used as distortion of the truth of what really happened between 1904 and 1908.  Your Excellency my present reason why this motion was taken to parliament was to seek for adoption of the Genocide and a buy in from the Namibian Government and the Namibian nation at large at that time as our Late Paramount Chief Riruako have been struggling by himself previously without his government support until the 19 September 2006.
This motion did not say the government should go solo and forget about the descendants of genocide. You’re Excellency; I am perplexed by your approach on the issue of genocide compared to other issues that occurred under your administration.   Let me take a rational approach, when the affirmative repositioning emerged and started complaining about the land and [property issues, Mr President, you invited them to have an official discussion and on the 24th July 2016 you agreed with the AR on land issues.  The meeting you held with the AR team resolved among many resolutions that a technical committee be established to work out all modalities regarding the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project”. By implication, the AR serves in that technical committee.  I am, bringing this up to remind you that you had an audacity to invite this movement that has been in existence for merely a year and you allowed yourself to come  out with governing skills than ruling skills. But on the contrary, my President is refusing to meet the Ovaherero and Nama Traditional Authorities but prefer to delegate them to your Vice President while the invitation was directed to you as our elected president.
The Ovaherero and Nama Traditional Authorities’ subjects regard this as a clap in their face and you are not sincere to the course of their genocide.  It is crystal clear that you are the president of all Namibians and as the percentage of votes after elections confirms. Your vote into power was not only by your party members.  It is therefore of paramount importance that you listen to everybody who is crying about issues of national, regional and international interest but not to delegate your responsibility to the person that we did not vote into office. Beloved President if your memory serves you wells, when you were our right honourable Prime Minister, the late Riruako dropped you a letter at Parliament, just two weeks before he was hospitalise. After reading it you gave him a thump sign.  The content of that letter was however only known to you and him. But the letter was not a personal one but it was written to you as the Government head and who was given the responsibility to lead the issue of genocide on behalf of the Ovaherero and Nama Traditional Authorities, hence the thumb up you gave through the letter between you and the late chief was not to him but to the Ovaherero and Nama people.
With the Ovaherero Traditional Authority being led by the successor Paramount Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, it is my belief that you owe him an explanation of the content of the letter and your response to that letter.  I therefore humbly plead with you to swallow your pride and be humble enough to meet the representative of the Ovaherero and Nama people who have issues to share with you personally but not with your representatives.  I have it under good authority that the Prime Minister of Namibia once said the majority of the Namibians are happy with the government to government negotiations and that a small proportion is not inconformity with the negotiations underway. This very insensitive statement from our Prime Minister and it shows that the Minister is not well informed about the fact that for the Ovaherero and Nama people to be the minority is a result of the genocide committed against them.  The prime Minister however should know that it is this minority group that started the negotiation case without her, yet today she is or the government is claiming that they initiated this? Was it not an instruction from the parliament? Now today we are witnessing the nationalisation of the reparation case so that the benefit goes to the majority and leave the direct descendants with nothing? The Vice President is busy lobbying some traditional leaders to work closely with the government and make sure that the Ovaherero and Nama Traditional Authorities and founder member of the genocide case are totally excluded and eliminated from the negotiations.
According to me, the two concerned tribes feel excluded, starting from when the special envoy was appointed and the entire structure for the negotiations was put in place. Now that Germany has confirmed that they are willing to engage the affected communities in the negotiation process, it would have been fair enough for the Namibian government to invite the leaders of the affected communities and plan together until a consensus is reached regarding the modalities to be applied to ensure that the negotiations are inclusive.

Vetaruhe Kandorozu is a regional councillor for the Okakarara Constituency in the Otjoondjupa Region and the Deputy Secretary General of NUDO.
Catch Part 2 in next week’s edition




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