OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu call for unity

17 Jun 2013 06:10
WINDHOEK, 17 JUN (NAMPA) ? OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu leaders have resolved to now lead from a perspective of putting their communities first, instead of a self-centred leadership approach.
This resolution emanated from the OvaHerero/OvaMbanderu remembrance summit, which took place in Otjimbingwe on Saturday.
Hundreds of OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu people converged at Otjimbingwe in the Erongo Region on Saturday in remembrance of the leadership summit held by OvaHerero traditional leaders in Otjimbingwe on 15 June 1863.
All Otjiherero-speaking communities gathered at Otjimbingwe in that year to deliberate on the common threats and challenges they faced, as well as to consider the possible ramifications if they did not act and come up with strategies to address those challenges.
During the summit on Saturday, the OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu communities decided to hold a leadership summit annually to deliberate on matters of common interest, and to assess progress made.
?There is a desire for larger and more representative unity and cooperation among our various traditional communities,? the leaders were quoted as saying in a communiqué issued after the summit.
Announcing the declarations of the summit on Saturday, Edwin Tjiramba, a member of the summit?s organising committee, said the leaders resolved to work vigorously towards a unified voice and common efforts in their demands for reparations for the atrocities committed by Germany against the Namibian people, which culminated in the genocide of 1904-1908.
The leaders also agreed to instill passion, love and benefits of education in children from the formative years, and to sustain this through all levels.
?We will spare no efforts in mobilising our communities and the Government to implement secondary-level education in the catchment areas of our communities,? Tjiramba said as he read the statement.
?We have recognised that the glaring absence of secondary schools in most of the predominantly Otjiherero-speaking rural communities countrywide contributes significantly to the social decay of the fabric of our youth in urban cities, and resultantly their absence in institutions of higher education,? stated the leaders.
The summit also resolved to educate their communities in the diversification of sustainable livelihoods and economic activities.
The leaders also condemned, in the strongest terms, the prevailing violence against women and children.
Recognising the prevailing drought situation in the country, the OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu chiefs urged Government to drill more boreholes in virgin land, from which communal farmers could benefit.
The summit was attended by throngs of people from as faraway as Opuwo in the Kunene Region, Aminuis in the Omaheke Region, Tsau in Botswana and Vaalgras in the Karas Region.
Besides honouring the 150 years of the summit here, the agenda also included discussions on issues of a socio-economic and political nature, especially the fragmentation of the OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu people.
Other issues include restoring the unity and cooperation between the various clans, chiefs and followers; alcohol abuse; teenage pregnancies; poor education and health facilities; lack of rural development, and the unavailability of land for purposes of farming and settlement.
The meeting was also seen in some quarters as an attempt to bring to an end the division, infighting and struggle for power within traditional authorities of the various pockets of OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu communities.
The event was also attended by OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako, DTA of Namibia president Katuutire Kaura, OvaMbanderu Chief Aletta Nguvauva as well as several traditional authority leaders.