Alvine Kapitako Windhoek-Plans are underway for the Damara people to travel to Germany where they intend to state their version of the 1904-1908 genocide. About 1,000 Damara people alongside the Ovaherero were killed at the battle of Ohamakari, said Seth Mataba Boois. “When the war broke out, the Ovaherero and Damara people fought together,” said Boois, adding that the Damara people are “laid back” in telling their history. Boois was speaking at the launch of his book titled ‘Reflections on modern Damara history’ on Saturday. Funds are now being raised for the Damara people to travel to Germany for the genocide talks. He said there is a need for research on how the Damara people were part of the genocide, adding that some of them also fled to Botswana alongside the Ovaherero. Speaking at the same occasion, Chief Petrus Ukongo of the #Gaodaman clan – a sub-group of the Damara people – urged the Damara people to come out and give their version of the genocide. Boois pledged 50 percent of the proceeds from the book to a fund that will help in the attempts to travel to Germany for genocide talks. The Damara people have been involved in historical political developments in this country and in the new dispensation, the Damara people are still involved in the country’s development, said Reinhardt Doeseb, who directed the proceedings. The Damara people are “too peaceful often to their own detriment”. The fact that the extermination order was for the Ovaherero people does not mean that other people were not killed, Doeseb said. “It’s a historical fact that our people were killed,” added Doeseb. Boois told reporters that as a child he heard stories of the Damara people being involved “in the struggle to survive”. Meanwhile, Ukongo said he does not see a fair allocation of land. There is a disparity on how land is allocated and taxes are levied, said Ukongo, who spoke through an interpreter. “We know that there is a scarcity of resources, however, we see people acquiring land for game farms, lodges, etc, which proves that indeed there must be funds somewhere to sustain those lands,” said Ukongo, stressing on a fair allocation of land. “This is one grey area that might be a weakness for Government if it does not improve,” said Ukongo. Further, he urged the Damara people to desist from looking down upon themselves and level the playing field in order to compete at the same level with everyone else in the country. The Communal Act of 2012 makes provision for every Namibian to apply for a communal piece of land, Ukongo added. “However, we find ourselves in major cities and towns. It’s our responsibility to apply and be allocated land. It’s disappointing that when it comes to Christmas recess time we find ourselves in towns when others have retreated to their farms,” said the chief.
2018-03-12 11:48:34 6 months ago