Government politicised genocide matter – Nudo

Nudo says it will reject any deal struck between the Namibian and German governments on genocide reparations.

20 May 2021 | Politics

RIVALDO KAVANGA

WINDHOEK



The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) has accused the government of politicising the genocide negotiations and thus losing the trust of the affected communities.

These are the sentiments of Nudo parliamentarian Joseph Kauandenge, who said the composition of the genocide committee is not inclusive because it is filled with alleged Swapo sympathisers.

Kauandenge, speaking during Namibian Sun's 'Evening Review' show on Tuesday, said any deal struck between the Namibian and German governments will not be supported by his party.

Nudo's former president, the late Kuaima Riruako, raised the issue in Parliament in 2006.

“Members of the negotiating committee mostly form part of the ruling party and the members representing the affected clans are all also from the ruling party; there is no secret in that. Are they trying to tell us that only Swapo members are capable of dominating this committee?” he questioned.



No reconciliation

Kauandenge, who also serves as the party's secretary-general, said “for as long as Germany does not acknowledge the genocide, the affected communities will not reconcile with them”.

The outspoken lawmaker said some of the members from the affected communities opted not to be part of the negotiating committee because of “fundamental differences”.

“Firstly, those who opted not to be part only wanted government to play a facilitating role between the two governments and not for the Namibian government to take over the negotiations because the affected communities have leaders who can do that,” he said.

According to Kauandenge, the affected communities' leaders will know how to best identify the areas where development is needed and that those leaders are in a better position to speak on behalf of their people.

“The Namibian government simply ignored the call from the community leaders for the past six years and went ahead with the negotiations without the vast majority of the communities on board. We will not support a process which we did not have a say in,” he charged.



Total surprise

When asked for his take on the recently-struck deal between the Namibian and German governments, Kauandenge said: “For us as a political party and especially as the movers of the motion, it came as a total surprise to say the least. For starters, how do you conclude a settlement or agreement without the involvement of the majority of those who really were killed by [Lothar] Von Trotha?”

He added that government must make the outcome of the negotiations public.

“The Namibian government is silent on the agreement even after the German media released certain information about the agreement signed. They must… either deny or confirm what was reported in the international media,” he said.

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