Rally for Democracy and Progress leader Mike Kavekotora says the genocide motion tabled by the late Nudo MP Kuaima Riruako in the National Assembly in 2006 was about restorative justice.
However, he claimed the Swapo government, for reasons only known to them, converted or diverted the call for reparation into a grant of 1.1 billion euros offered by Germany, as a final settlement of all financial aspects of the issues relating to the past addressed. “It was about genocide, apology, and reparation, not a grant,” Kavekotora said while contributing to the genocide debate in the August House on Tuesday.
An agreement was signed earlier this year between Namibia and the German government, which includes the European nation setting aside about N$18 billion to aid local projects over 30 years but Kavekotora said the realistic quantifiable figure for reparation should be between N$11 to N$13 trillion.
The RDP member said the Namibian government would therefore need to go back to the drawing board and follow Riruako’s motion to the letter.
“Germany must acknowledge genocide without any qualification. Germany must pay the affected communities reparation, not a grant,” Kavekotora said. Also, he said the Namibian government must come in as an interested party and the affected communities must join the discussion like the situation between Germany on the one hand and the Israel government and the Jewish communities across the globe represented by about 23 conferences on the other hand.
He said the two parties on the same side, the affected communities and the Namibian government must first engage one another before starting a dialogue with Germany to clear any misunderstanding and to speak with one voice.
He also called on the Namibian government to recover the money paid by former justice minister Sacky Shanghala to UK-based lawyers.
“The N$47 million contributed nothing to this negotiation,” he added. He further called on the Namibian government to engage the United Nations (UN) as the custodian of many of these treaties and conventions dealing with genocide.
The German offer is before parliament for ratification. Tens of thousands of Namibians, mainly the Nama and Ovaherero, were killed in what is called the first genocide of the 20th century.
German troops massacred and displaced tens of thousands of Namibians in 1904-1908. In 2015, the two countries started negotiating an agreement that would combine an official apology by the German as well as reparations.