The country’s official opposition has said although it supports Government’s involvement in the genocide talks with the German government, it has an issue with the composition of the negotiating team.
DTA of Namibia is unhappy with the approach taken by the Namibian government in negotiating the 1904-8 genocide reparations of the Nama and Ovaherero people saying it “side-lines” the two communities.
According to DTA, it is against the composition of government’s negotiating team that is led by special envoy Dr Zed Ngavirue to negotiate the reparations on a government to government basis without the involvement of the affected tribes.
Also, DTA has reiterated that reparation talks cannot be “about us without us” when arguing that the two tribes, which were subjected to the 1904-8 mass killings, cannot be side-lined.
Speaking at a media conference here on Tuesday, DTA Parliamentarian Vipuakuje Muharukua said it was wrong and unacceptable for the mentioned tribes to take the “backbench” in the reparation talks.
“Our concern as a party is the benefit and restoration of affected tribes, therefore, the DTA reiterates that the call of these two tribes that says it cannot be about us without us is a valid call and should be heeded to,” reiterated Muharukua.
On the one hand, the party seems to support the state by saying that the ruling government was democratically elected and was therefore the main representing body of all Namibians, DTA included, and that it is subject to Government’s rule.
“Again, we send out a call to those who are say[ing] government must not be involved; that is wrong because we have elected a government democratically but we also have individual tribes in the country who were affected,” said Muharukua.
DTA says it supports a “tripartite negotiation” that will consist of both the German and Namibian government as well as the two affected tribes.
Whereas on the other hand, the same party is against the negotiating team that was established by the Government to negotiate genocide reparations with the government of the Federal Republic of Germany on behalf of the Namibian people.
Muharukua said his party approached the presidency on the matter but they were given the cold shoulder. “It is rather unfortunate and quite characteristic that of this ‘Harambee Era’ (Geingob administration), an era which is supposed to be of pulling together, consulting and transparency is worse off than the past one under his Excellency President Hifikepunye Pohamba in terms of consultations.” According to Muharukua, the DTA is yet to receive a formal response on its call to have the two communities brought onto the negotiating table. Additionally, DTA has accused top officials in Parliament of being “arrogant” and criticised what it termed the “government’s rhetoric” that says there will be no special treatment for the Nama and Ovaherero tribes in the genocide reparation talks. At the same juncture, the official opposition party announced that its president McHenry Venaani will be travelling to Germany to enhance talks of cooperation in areas of democracy, vocational training and agriculture modernisation. He will also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
During his brief stint in Germany Venaani will deliver lectures at various German universities under the theme ‘African Renewal and the Reparation Case of Namibia’.