Exclusion is German tactic

07 December 2016 | Local News

OvaHerero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro has warned the Namibian government to include them in talks.

The paramount chief of the OvaHerero has laid the blame for the exclusion of the OvaHerero and Nama from the genocide talks squarely at the door of the former colonial power.

“The exclusion strategy was crafted and masterminded by Germany and then imposed on our government. The creator of this strategy is the German government,” Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, paramount chief of the OvaHerero said during his address at the Kai//Khau traditional festival over the weekend at Hoachanas.

He said the Namibian government, in implementing the German strategy, has put up puppet structures. “Puppet chiefs were appointed as technical advisors but they are not in the government’s negotiating team in a participating capacity,” he claimed.

According to him, the German envoy Ruprecht Polenz has made it clear that they are not going to pay any reparations to the Namibian government to hand over to the descendants of the genocide victims. He said the Germans are only prepared to put up hospitals and clinics and fund other projects.

“These are the results of 12 months of negotiations between the two governments. This is where we are today. The traditional leaders and the genocide groups will reject this with the contempt it deserves.”

He cautioned that whatever agreement is going to be reached between them will not be worth the paper it is written on.

“Ordinary toilet paper is worth more than that agreement,” he said.

Rukoro believes that two governments do not have a clue of the real needs of the descendants of the genocide victims and that is why the question of the return of land is not on the table in the talks.

“We insist on sitting at the negotiating table ourselves. Nothing about us without us,” he emphasised.

He cautioned that the longer the Germans delayed direct talks with the descendants of the genocide victims the more expensive the terms of settlement are going to become for successive German governments.

According to him Namibia has been peaceful and stable for 26 years but its current ‘ostrich-type’ of political approach will help create a situation that will unleash political and social instability in the country between the government and the affected communities.

“I hope the Namibian government is alert to the danger of Germany’s geopolitical ambitions and will not be used as agents against its nationals and allies in the region,” the paramount chief cautioned.

He stated that the Nama and OvaHerero have no other choice but to resist and repel German neo-colonialism with all their means.

“We know that we can count on the support of traditional leaders in this country. In February next year we will move into a more action-oriented mold unless our core demand for inclusion and meaningful participation is met,” he said.

He requested various members of the traditional communities that attended the Kai//Khau traditional festival to go back to their villages and be prepared and ready for ‘business unusual’.

FRED GOEIEMAN