Swapo member of parliament Kornelia Shilunga believes the genocide debate under discussion in the national assembly presents the most fitting opportunity to foster and deepen Namibians’ bond as a nation.
“The genocide issue must not divide us further but rather unite us and draw us closer – one person to another; one tribe to another; one culture to another. Our spirit of nationhood should be rooted and fostered in our diversity, which must serve as an inspiration and not as a curse,” Shilunga said.
She said this in parliament last week while contributing to the genocide debate.
Germany massacred an estimated 80 000 Ovaherero and Namas at the turn of the 20th century – and this year, it agreed to apologise for the genocide and extend financial assistance of N$18 billion to the descendants of affected communities.
Shilunga says she believes that the issue of genocide presents the aptest opportunity to foster and deepen the country’s citizens bond as a nation.
“If we can find a common place and a common expression that transcends any self-serving ambitions, I have no doubt that, as a nation, we can emerge from this experience much stronger and more unified,” she said.
She said it is a historical fact that all Namibians were affected by the genocide – directly or indirectly.
“When one considers the high degree of inter-marriages and other links among the Namibian ethnic groups; clearly, it goes without saying that as a nation, we are all affected by the genocide in one way or another,” she said.
She said it is her personal view that given the fact that all Namibians were affected by genocide, approaching the genocide from a piecemeal approach will not be in the nation’s interest.
In fact, she said, such an approach has the potential to cause division amongst ourselves on such an important matter.
“We are smart enough to rise above these self-imposed divisions and limitations, and carved out a roadmap that represents our national aspirations as a people,” she said.