Otja-Kapuuo peer group president Asser Mujazu said the late Ovaherero Paramount Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro will be recognised for his firm moral stance on a wide range of contemporary issues, driven by a desire to do the best for his people and surrounding communities.
Rukoro (66), who died of Covid-19 in the early hours of last week Friday, was at the forefront of seeking reparations from Germany over the genocide committed against the Ovaherero and Nama between 1904-1908. Rukoro has been accorded a state funeral by President Hage Geingob.
Named after one of the greatest Ovaherero Paramount Chiefs, Clemens Kapuuo, Otjiwondo tjaKapuuo (Otja Kapuuo Peers) is a group of Ovaherero/Ovambanderu men circumcised between 1978 and 1980. The group is called after chief Kapuuo as their circumcisions coincided with his assassination in 1978.
Mujazu said in a statement this week that the tragic news of Ombara Otjitambi Rukoro was certainly unexpected, since they had just seen a very active chief rekindling and solidifying their long links with the Nama nation under the auspices of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) only a few days before.
“There does not seem to be a right time for any person to die. However, in view of the issues and challenges confronting the Ovaherero, the timing couldn’t have been more off the mark as several issues have reached maturing and advanced stages. But, who are we to say?”
“While it is not yet “uhuru” for the Ovaherero, Paramount Chief Rukoro has exited at a point when the Ovaherero-Nama genocide and related discussions have garnered mainstream media attention after over a century of being on the margins of discourse and blatant denials of the associated historical facts,” Mujazu stated.
He said Rukoro had diligently and with infused energy carried the baton handed over by late Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako with grace and a renewed sense of purpose.
When Rukoro took over from Riruako, the quest for restorative justice received added impetus, galvanising the next generation of genocide warriors, vowing never to back down until unconditional acknowledgement, a fitting apology and commensurate reparations are offered and delivered by the German government.
“Slogans like “everything about us without us is against us” and “Germany can flee but it has nowhere to hide”, functioned as rallying cries for many people across diverse social structures and age groups, and served to link a historical quest with a younger generation that was increasingly at odds with the historic mission.
Ombara Otjitambi led from the front. Ombara Otjitambi led from the back, “Mujazu continued.
“While we shall miss Ombara Otjitambi Rukoro, we take solace in the fact that he has laid fertile ground for us to carry the torch forward, driven by the yearning for prosperity for Ovaherero and other well-meaning nations,” he said.