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Venaani urges genocide envoy appointment

2021-12-07  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Venaani urges genocide envoy appointment

Leader of the official opposition, McHenry Venaani, has told President Hage Geingob to put his shoulder to the wheel and appoint a new genocide special envoy to start in earnest round two of the genocide negotiations.

Venaani made this call yesterday at the party headquarters while addressing the media on various issues affecting the country.

“We as the PDM are calling on the government to start in earnest round two of the genocide renegotiations. We are calling on President Geingob to appoint a new envoy.” Career diplomat ambassador Zed Ngavirue who led the first round of genocide reparation negotiations passed away this year.  

“As we are urging government to renegotiate these discussions, the structures of the negotiations must change, one of the things that we are demanding is the question of including the people in the diaspora, they must be part and parcel of the negotiating team of Namibia,” said the outspoken opposition leader.

The two governments allegedly
agreed that Germany would apologise for the genocide and extend financial assistance of N$18 billion in project funding over 30 years to the descendants of affected communities. 

However, the majority of the affected communities including opposition members of parliament feel that Germany must do more to atone for its sins. 

According to the joint declaration, projects will be implemented in the Erongo, Hardap, //Kharas, Khomas, Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions within the sectors of land reform and development, agriculture, rural livelihoods and natural resources, rural infrastructure, energy and water supply, as well as technical and vocational education and training. 

Venaani said the PDM does not have a problem with the Namibian government to lead the negotiations but all the affected communities inside and outside the country should be brought to the table to create a firm representation of the affected community on the table.

“We are disagreeing with government saying they are going to the table to renegotiate the quantum, they should not only renegotiate the quantum but the language, the text in the language should not be unambiguous because at this point of time, the word reparation is not included in the text and we demand to government that the language must be very clear,” he said.

Meanwhile, defence minister Frans Kapofi who is the mover of the genocide motion in parliament last week assured the genocide-affected communities of the government’s commitment to bring the genocide issue to finality to the satisfaction of everyone.

Germany massacred an estimated 80 000 Ovaherero and Nama at the turn of the 20th century. 

“This progress must be sustained and reinforced. The main issue of concern is the amount of reparation and the disbursement thereof. 

The views expressed by all members on various issues on the genocide, apology and reparations will be collated and taken into consideration by the executive when handling this matter, going forward,” Kapofi told lawmakers recently. 

“I want to caution that negotiation being what it is, entailing give and take, one must be alive to the fact that because of various political and economic dynamics, it could be a serious mistake for Namibia to naively abandon the negotiation process altogether in the absence of any appreciable guarantee that if the ongoing negotiations are abandoned, Germany will necessarily be willing to restart negotiations and agree on new and improved terms of the joint declaration.”

2021-12-07  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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