The Landless People’s Movement’s National Assembly chief whip Henny Seibeb says the N$18 billion offer from Germany is a cleverly crafted deal aimed at crooking the affected communities.
He therefore called on parliamentarians not to accede to the joint declaration.
Seibeb made these remarks while contributing to the genocide debate in parliament on Tuesday.
“I wish to counsel that this seventh parliament must not accede to this joint declaration. The Germans want to crook us cleverly, as they did with Chief Frederick of Bethanie,” said the outspoken opposition leader.
He said the argument advanced by the Germans, whether there are “any legal grounds for legal claims by Namibia, individuals or other entities arising from the events of 1904 to 1908, are far-fetched and should not coerce us into submission.”
Basically, he said, the Germans are maintaining that the United Nations (UN) Convention on Genocide of 1948 on issues of genocide came into force after Germany lost sovereignty over the then German South West Africa after World War 1 and World War 2.
He further reminded the two governments that the genocide deal between the two states should have nothing to do with National Development Plans (NDPs) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
“Don’t think that you can misappropriate these funds like Fishrot and use it for political campaigns in 2024 as disguised development brought about by government,” he warned.
He said as it stands, the N$18 billion offer is a joke, and must be regarded as such.
“Let us not follow temptations of the money only. Let us refer this document to a parliamentary standing committee, or to the negotiating team to adjust on the quantum - as it is overwhelmingly rejected - both by parliamentarians and the general public, in particular by the affected communities and civil society organisations”.
Seibeb then suggested that the motion be withdrawn, and that real discussions be jump-started with all affected community representatives so that the motion is correctly implemented.
He added that the history of the genocide is not sufficiently covered in the country’s history textbooks. Therefore, special funding should be allocated to establish a Centre for Advanced Studies on Genocide at the University of Namibia (Unam), or alternatively to reform Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia (PACON) and introduce post-graduate programmes in Genocide Studies, as well as provide scholarships, even to train 10 Master’s degree and PhD students.
An agreement was reached 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. The agreement is currently being discussed in parliament.