Genocide consultations spark outrage

Nama committee perceives a snub

31 January 2018 | Cultural

The Nama genocide technical committee has condemned a round of consultations in the south by the government on its negotiations with Germany regarding reparations for genocide.

The committee yesterday said the consultations were a deliberate insult hurled at the Nama community who are mourning their traditional chief, Dawid Frederick, who died two weeks ago.

The outreach consultations are being done under the leadership of the government's genocide special envoy, Dr Zed Ngavirue.

The aim of the consultations is to inform and consult descendants of victims of the state of affairs on the ongoing negotiations between Germany and Namibia.

The aim is also to solicit input from communities on their needs and aspirations for reparations.

The consultations kicked off in the south of Namibia, where several meetings were held at all the main towns, and will eventually go to the Erongo and Kunene regions.

Judging from the consultation programme, a number of local leaders were picked to mobilise communities.

The committee, in a statement issued by its spokesperson Paul Thomas, called on all Nama people to boycott the consultations, claiming that it disrespects the memory of the late chief.

“Those of you who can attend can do so, but the Namibian government is busy with a divide-and-rule tactic. They have even sidelined the various traditional leaderships. Zed Ngavirue and his running dogs are at play to mislead the Nama and OvaHerero communities,” Thomas said.

Ngavirue, on the other hand, said he saw this outreach as an honour and not in the least an insult to the late chief.

According to him, there is no difference between sending a delegation to attend the New York court hearing and the consultations he initiated.

“I am surprised to hear people say this. Normally it is an honour to continue a fight when a general has fallen. The chief even sent his people to New York, how is this different?” he asked.

JEMIMA BEUKES