It seems there’s no turning back on the unified and resolute march by descendants of the victims of genocide in their demand for an apology and reparations.
Joined this time around by Chief Vipuira Kapuuo of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) reigning in Ovitoto, Ovaherero and Ovambanderu chiefs this morning reveals the content of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Genocide, Apology and Reparations, known as the Okandjoze MOU. Where they on Sunday morning signed it. But Kapuuo could not be there due to the burial of Jane Katjavivi, wife of one of the affable sons of Ovitoto, Professor Peter Katjavivi.
The chiefs, with the exception of Turimuro Hoveka and Rikurura Kukuri who from the group in Okandjoze could not be present, took turns towards the end of the media conference to declare their unshakeable devotion and dedication to the newly found unity in action. Not only this but towards the end of the media conference they took one another by the hand to not only symbolically show to the world, least of all the German government, but also spiritually that theirs is a bond born out of the lives of their ancestors, and thus only African ancestral divinity shall break it.
“Form a common front in the demand for the acknowledgement and recognition of genocide, and to subsequently offer an apology and pay the reparations for the genocide committed against our ancestors, and subsequently to redress land dispossession, loss of lives, livestock, culture, dignity, cultural artefacts, and traumatic experiences,” reads the first objective of the MOU which was read to the media.
Among others the chiefs further dedicate themselves through the MOU to seek a tripartite negotiation where the three parties to it shall be “on equal footing” as per the 2006 Resolution of the Namibian National Assembly.
With the MOU they also strive at “enhance and deepen the sense of unity and cooperation among the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu and the Nama descendants.” Asked as to why the Nama descendants were not part of the Okandjoze consultations, Chief Kambazembi said the Otjiherero—speaking descendants first needed to get their house in order before approaching their fellow Nama descendants of the victims of genocide. Because the Nama are already have got their house in order and are united under the Nama Traditional Leaders Association.
Not only this but all the MOU at all times remains open to those currently not signatories to. But henceforth all signatories to it “shall not engage in unilateral action pertaining to the demand for apology and reparation without the knowledge and support of the Forum.” This a Chiefs Forum under the MOU, which shall meet once a month or as may be necessary upon the request of the traditional leaders.