• August 23rd, 2019
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Nam, German dialogue led to reconciliation - Katjavivi

George Sanzila

BERLIN - Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi has praised the role played by parliamentarians of both German and Namibia in the reconciliation process between Namibia and its former coloniser.

According to Katjavivi, the German Bundestag resolutions adopted unanimously in 1989 and 2004 and a motion on the genocide negotiations that was equally adopted in the Namibian parliament in 2006 have set in motion a trajectory towards deeper cooperation, peace and reconciliation.

Katjavivi said this when he met the President of the German Bundestag (Parliament), Wolfgang Schauble in Berlin on Wednesday, where he is visiting the German legislature in the company of parliament staff and an all-party delegation of Members of Parliament to seek support in improving the operations of the Namibian Parliament.

The Speaker noted that the constant reciprocal visits between the two parliaments signify the political will and interest in engaging in dialogue and advancing the economies of the two countries. 

“We are proud of the role that parliamentarians of both countries have played in being the inspiration and fervent supporters for the reconciliation process between the two countries. I am delighted by the numerous all party German Parliament and Namibian Parliament delegations that have continuously exchanged annual visits to maintain and sustain that dialogue,” said Katjavivi.

Katjavivi stated that should a resolution on the complex and protracted issue of genocide be reached, it would further demand that Parliament monitor its progress and implementation in line with its oversight role. “The role of the two parliaments is not only to approve resources for the implementation of the agreements between the two governments but also to monitor and report on the progress of implementing they agreed upon undertakings relating to the matter when the time comes,” noted Katjavivi.

He further reiterated his appeal to the German Bundestag to replicate the creation of a parliamentary friendship group reminding Schauble that resolutions adopted by the German legislature supports such a move. 

According to Katjavivi, the creation of a friendship group would not only support the ongoing genocide negotiations but also promote potential technical assistance.  “In line with the reconciliatory tone set by our two governments, I am strongly appealing to the Bundestag to emulate the Namibia example. Given our shared historical past, the special relationship between Namibia and German and the closeness of communities in both our countries, it is not appropriate for Namibia to be looked at by Germany in the group lens of the rest of the Sadc region,” said the Speaker in reference to a German Parliamentary friendship group created for a block of Sadc countries.  The Namibian Parliament has a German-Namibian friendship group chaired by Swapo Chief Whip, Evelyn !Nawases Taeyele. 

PDM leader McHenry Venaani repeatedly appealed for German technical assistance during a series of meetings, noting that Namibia has a high Gini coefficient and that value addition was imperative to improve its economy. 

“We have so many resources that we keep exporting in raw form. We appeal for German technical assistance to add value to our commodities to improve our economy and empower our youth. Switzerland today is said to produce the best chocolates but import their cocoa from West Africa,” stated Venaani. 

Another area of concern that was raised by Namibian Ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb was the requirement of visa for Namibian citizens when entering German. 

“We would want a reciprocal type of arrangement for Namibian nationals when entering German. Germans are allowed in Namibia without a visa. Given our historical past and relationship, it is important that this issue is expedited as it has become a burden,” implored Guibeb.

The appeal for a specific friendship group was well received by the top leadership of the German Bundestag, including its President, Vice President and members of the German Parliamentary friendship group for relations with Sadc.
Schauble who promised to strongly influence the creation of a German – Namibia friendship group, stressed the need to continue sustaining parliamentary engagement and friendship between the two countries.

In its efforts to bolster its operations, the Namibian legislature plans to cooperate with its German counterpart in areas such as parliamentary budget, security, research and information services among others.
Other Members of Parliament accompanying the Speaker include, Asser Mbai (Nudo), Steve Bezuidenhout (RDP), Pendukeni Iivula Ithana (Swapo), Apius !Auchab (UDF) and Evelyn !Nawases Taeyele (Swapo Chief Whip).

New Era Reporter
2019-02-22 09:02:53 6 months ago

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