Katjiua still disagrees with Geingob on genocide

Mutjide Katjiua

Ovaherero Traditional Authority chief Mutjide Katjiua says his disagreement with the late president Hage Geingob’s approach to the Namibia-Germany genocide agreement persists – even after the president’s death.

Katjiua said this in his condolence message on Geingob’s death on Sunday.

“The Ovaherero Traditional Authority deeply disagreed, and continue to disagree, with president Hage Geingob on the joint declaration with the genocidal Germany. It was a candid, good-spirited and principled disagreement that did not negate our appreciation of his viewpoint rooted in his deeply held republican view that ‘to be born a nation, the tribe must die’,” Katjiua said.

He added: “The memorial shrine in honour of the father of Namibian nationalism, paramount chief hosea Kutako, is testament to his ability to weave the different and complex narratives of the ‘Namibian House’ together in a common tapestry.”

Earlier this year, The Namibian reported that the Ovaherero and Nama communities have called on president Geingob to demonstrate his commitment to addressing reparations for Germany’s 1904 to 1908 genocide by taking legal action in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Pointing to Geingob’s rejection of Germany’s support for Israel’s “genocidal” actions in Gaza, the Ovaherero Traditional Authorities (OTA) and the Nama Leaders Association (NLA) issued a joint statement urging Geingob to take assertive legal action.

“Hage Geingob, just as you support South Africa in taking Israel to the ICJ in support of the Palestinian people, support us, the Nama and Ovaherero people, to take Germany to the ICJ for genocide committed by Germany against the Nama and Ovaherero people,” noted the statement.

The communities said Germany’s support for Israeli “genocide” against the Palestinian people has confirmed the continued “colonial agenda of the modern state of Germany”.

“Clearly the Namibian government only supports Germany in exchange for little jacked-up financial resources to its wooed budget and the most laughable promises of economic spin-offs from ‘green’ hydrogen energy production,” the statement said.

Supporting the sentiments, Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Maximalliant Katjimune said the joint declaration does not sufficiently atone for the genocide.

“ . . . and that is why it was vehemently rejected by parliament,” Katjimune said.

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says it is important that Namibians put political issues aside while mourning the late president.

“We must not censor what people should say, because that is what they have experienced with the late president,” he says.

NLA spokesperson Sima Luipert at the time reiterated the call for Geingob to discard the joint declaration, a longstanding request made by the Nama and Ovaherero leaders.

“While we welcome the position regarding Palestinian genocide, it will remain political rhetoric unless he returns to the 2006 Namibian parliamentary resolution. We hope the Presidency has now seen that Germany was never serious in truly and genuinely coming to terms with its colonial skeletons,” Luipert said.

The first reparation agreement between Namibia and Germany was perceived by the affected communities as the European country trying to undersell them with the €1,1 billion offer.

At the time, this translated to N$18,6 billion over 10 years.

A big tree has fallen – Ovaherero chief

OVAHERERO Traditional Authority chief Mutjinde Katjiua says the death of president Hage Geingob is a tremendous loss to the world, Africa and Namibia.

Katjiua described Geingob as a big tree, which he said has ‘fallen’.

“To my fellow Namibians, Africans and humanity, I wish to say that a big tree has fallen, but his legacy of dedicated service to humanity and Africa remains,” Katjiua said.

He added that Geingob carried out his assignments diligently at the United Nations where he was a young political affairs officer and at the Bank’s Global Coalition for Africa which he led and during his various roles at SADC.

According to him, Geingob’s contribution to Namibia is immeasurable.

“As the third president of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob epitomised our better sense and aspirations as a people united in our diversity. He faced challenges such as the global financial crises and the Covid-19 epidemic that faced our nation with his usual candour and dedication,” the chief said.

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