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Vries: Swapo traffics with dignity of genocide descendants

2021-10-11  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Vries: Swapo traffics with dignity of genocide descendants
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Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Diederik Vries has accused the governing party of using Swapo members of parliament who are descendants of the Ovaherero/Nama to champion the acceptance of the genocide joint declaration.  

Vries made these accusations 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.

However, the majority of the affected communities feel that Germany must do more to atone for its sins. “What is being done to my fellow members of parliament is totally unacceptable, forcing them to downplay the suffering of their ancestors.

“This amounts to trafficking with the dignity of those members of parliament (MP) who are now being forced to sell out their ancestors in the parliament building, which was constructed with the slave labour of their ancestors from the nearby prison camps around Windhoek,” he said.

He also blasted the Swapo government over the way they handled the genocide negotiations with Germany, saying they converted the genocide motion into a “begging instrument”. “We will not beg Germany. They know what they did as imperial forces against our forefathers and they know fully well what impact their brutal and genocidal actions have on us up to today,” said Vries.

Vries said he rejects the joint declaration with the contempt it deserves and calls upon all Namibians not to be apprehensive by the mere mention of the Nama/Ovaherero genocide. “The fight is in the name of these two tribes, but the justice we seek is for all Namibians,” he said.

He added that is a well-known fact that the ruling party handled the genocide matter badly, because many in the ruling party feel that the Nama/Herero genocide eclipses claims by some in Swapo that the resistance struggle against colonialism and foreign occupation can only be associated with Swapo.

“For some in Swapo, the Nama/Herero genocide is regarded as an attempt by anti-Swapo elements in Namibia to undermine the role of Swapo in the liberation struggle at worst and at best a footnote in the annals of Namibian history.” 

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. 


Not impressed… PDM MP Diederik Vries.

Photo: Contributed



2021-10-11  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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