Political parties must refrain from genocide talks

By Shallot Mohutege

OVAHERERO/OvaMbanderu and the Nama Council (ONCD) this week called upon political parties to refrain from using the issue of genocide as a way to gain more votes in the upcoming elections.

The council representing the two communities in the 1904-1908 Genocide, Apology and Reparation (GAR) negotiations this week released a statement stating: “That it is regrettable that the issue of genocide has become a hot agenda item for the upcoming regional and local authority elections campaign by political parties, as well as a means for survival to some political parties that are losing support amongst the Namibian electorate.”

ONCD secretary Ueriuka Tjikuua stated that although the council has come to a realisation that using the issue of genocide is a way of surviving for some political parties and to gain support from the Namibian electorate, they are appealing to all political parties to stick to the patriotic principle they demonstrated when they collectively adopted the motion on genocide in the National Assembly in 2006.

Touching on the matter of the ongoing genocide negotiations, Tjikuua expressed that to date; they had covered eight rounds of negotiations that took place in a reciprocal manner whereby meetings were held in Windhoek, Swakopmund, and Berlin, Germany.

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Tjikuua further stated that at no point during the last eight rounds of negotiations was an amount of €10m (N$207 060 972.50) offered by Germany and accepted by the Namibian team.

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“Yes, there was tactically an indicative amount suggested while discussing developmental projects, which was far more than the latter amount, but it was not an offer.

The ONCD 1904-1908 is not and will never be that desperate to accept meagre offers made to us that are not commensurate to the losses our ancestors suffered of which the effects are still felt in our daily socio economic lives,” explained Tjikuua.

The ninth round of negotiations, he said will mainly deal with the issue of reparations and will focus more on the socio-economic developmental needs of the targeted communities as identified during the numerous outreach meetings conducted by the ONCD negotiating team members in the seven identified regions.