Kae Tjiparuro-Matundu

The month of May while it must have gone in the history of Namibia as a historic day, in the sense that Namibians, especially the descendants of the 1904-1908 genocide committed against the Ovambanderu, Ovaherero and Nama, must have been celebrated a gift of the official recognition of this genocide by the Namibian govern-ment by gifting them 8 May, the day on which the con-centration camps in which thousand were incarcerated and eventual succumb, as a remembrance day, sadly came and gone uneventfully.

With the government of Namibia still dillydallying in recognising this day as Re-membrance Day of the Ovaherero-Nama Genocide. This indeed is a slap in the face of the descendants of the survivors of Genocide by their own government.

And as if this is not enough. No news is good news and the news filtering in from Germany this week about the rumoured agreement on an Reconciliation Fund by the two governments, which is a substitute for the Reparations de-mand of descendants of the survivors of genocide, adds insult to injury to the already traumatised psyche of the descendants of the survivors of Genocide in Namibia, and indeed the entire human race who have been in solidarity with the Ovambanderu, Ovaherero and Nama who all these years, since the return of the remains of erstwhile Ovaharero Paramount Chief, Samuel Maharero, have been clamouring for justice as epitomised by their yearly pilgrim to Okahandja.

The pilgrim by the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu to Okahandja has been nothing but a statement that they have unfinished business with the government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the untold sufferings it predecessor government subjected the ancestors of the Ovambanderu, Ovaherero and Na-ma to, and eventual genocide. Only to be subjected this week to further and continued humiliation through the rumoured agreement. One needs not wait to see what the agreement actually contain because given the secre-cy in which it has been shrouded, it does not even takes a first grader to know that this is no deal.

Notonly this but as lately as March, answering questions after the State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly, the Presi-dent admitted that the negotiations have deadlocked. Not that they have been much of negotiations admittedly as far as some of the descendants, who from the word go in principle declined to be part of the negotiations be-cause of the way in which they were birthed. Essentially a section of the genocide survivors’ descendants, were tricked into this negotiations, all along believing to be substantial parts of the process while in reality they have just sideliners. Their presence no more than to render this process some pretence of legitimacy but that it has never gained. The negotiations, now said to be eventual-ly producing an agreement, has never and shall never be legitimate as long as for a starter the descendants have reached a consensus in terms of their representation. Neither can those descendants currently part of the cur-rent negotiations claim in any representation for the
af-fected communities other than individual representation.

Thus, however substantive in any way this deal made out to be, said to be or its crafters may make the descend-ants of the survivors of genocide in Namibia, and the world, believe to be, it remains what it was from the word go, nothing but sham, default and a travesty of re-storative justice. The descendants who have not been part of it, and who every day of their lives since the sham negotiations, have been categorical that the process was fault from the beginning, and if the government was in-deed serious with seeing justice for the descendants, it need to pause the process and go back to the drawing board.

This message that has been loud and clear, and which has been repeated almost every day, but both the Namibian and government have been ignoring. Oblivious to the fact that no deal excluding a legitimate section of the descendants shall ever be legitimate and acceptable, however substantive it may be in the eyes of both the Namibian and German governments, or a fraction of the descendants and victim communities. It is by any iota not about either the Namibian or/and German government who have no direct interest in this matter, but only col-lateral interest.

The people who have direct interest are the victim communities. And if any deal should have any legitimacy, it must carry the consensus of the victim communities. Such consensus has been missing from the word go. A fact both the Namibian and German govern-ments have been well aware of and that the negotiations they have been engaged in does not carry the slightest approval of the majority of the affected victim communi-ties.

Nevertheless the two governments, because of their own parochial interest, disingenuousness, indifference and ar-rogance to the imperatives of history of the Ovambande-ru, Ovaherero and Nama. The Namibian delegation that went to Berlin where it reportedly had “fruitful” genocide talks and is yet to report to the President, must simply return home to roost.