• September 20th, 2019

Government reaffirms commitment to reparations

WINDHOEK – Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba says government will not relent from the genocide course and will continue to seek the acknowledgement, apology and reparations from the German government.
He made this assertion at the official programme to welcome and observe respective ritual of the return of the third repatriation of 27 human remains of Namibians from Germany at Parliament Gardens on Friday.

“We will not relent from this course of dialogue, neither do we intent to sacrifice the suffering of our people for any political or economic expediency,” said Mbumba, who doubles as chairperson of the Political Committee on Genocide, Reparations and Apology.

In attendance were former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Members of Parliament, and traditional leaders of various traditional authorities.

Germany’s Minister of State Michelle Müntefering, special envoy Ruprecht Polenz and Robert Dolger, Germany’s regional director for sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel were also in attendance.
Furthermore, Mbumba expressed appreciation to the affected communities who according to him have put their confidence and trust in the government’s efforts to negotiate an acceptable outcome of restorative justice with Germany on reparation matters.

He appealed to the members of the affected communities who have not yet joined the dialogue for reparations under the leadership of government’s special envoy on genocide Dr Zed Ngavirue, to do so with no further delays.
At the same time, Mbumba appealed to the German government to fully assume its moral, historical and legal responsibilities on the matter by speeding up the conclusion of the negotiations on the 1904-1908 genocide, particularly on the core issues of acknowledgement, apology and reparations.

“The colonial occupation of Namibia, by both Germany and South Africa, are the direct causes of the present day development challenges such as the deep-seated poverty and inequality, economic exclusion of the majority and widespread landlessness and homelessness Namibian are facing today,” said Mbumba.

He said the psychological damage of colonial subjugation are until today visible in our people in manifestation such as tribalism, pent-up-anger, cultural and identity alienation and others.

He added that all these negative effects would require patience, time and massive resources to effectively redress. On her part, Müntefering said Germany acknowledges her historical-political and moral responsibility, and the historical guilt borne by the Germans of the time. 

“The atrocities committed at the time in Germany’s name constituted what would today be called genocide – even though it was not until later that this term was legally defined,” she said.

She said as a politician, as a member of the German government, and on behalf of a young generation of German politicians, she is convinced that the time has come for them to learn. 
“The time for change has come,” said the youthful Müntefering.

“Learning and change begin with listening. Listening to those who are willing to share their words, their pain and their stories with us,” she said. 

She said it is their job to make sure that future generations in Germany, too, will finally hear and learn about these stories.
Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa led a 74-member Namibian delegation to Germany for the third repatriation of the 27 human remains.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2018-09-03 08:09:09 1 years ago

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