Traditional authority distances itself from genocide reparations

13 Apr 2016 16:30pm
OPUWO, 13 APR (NAMPA) – A traditional authority and an organisation representing a clan in the Kunene Region have distanced themselves from the reported umbrella of traditional leaders on genocide reparations, as reported in March.
It was reported in the local media early last month that 25 traditional leaders signed an agreement in Windhoek for a united front on genocide reparation demands directed at the German government.
This was purportedly after a meeting of various traditional authorities with Namibia Vice-President, Nickey Iyambo on 4 March in the capital.
The Vita Tom Traditional Authority under the leadership of Chief Tjimbware Tom and the Ondanga clan led by Chief Ebson Rikambura recently told Nampa they are not part of the said umbrella on reparation demands.
“We are an established authority and no one can decide on our behalf,” Uavirako Katupa, Secretary of the Ondanga clan said.
Minutes of the said meeting availed to Nampa, states that the Ondanga clan was represented by Chief Ebson Rikambura.
Katupa however told this agency that Chief Rikambura, who is stated on the document as having represented the clan at the meeting, was in fact not present.
Katupa noted that the clan has however welcomed the appointment of Dr. Zed Ngavirue by Government to negotiate on reparations with the German government.
Katupa said Ngavirue is not only a diplomat but a descendant of the genocide victims and thus has a thorough know-how of issues relating to the genocide.
The Ondanga clan’s representatives have not been recognised as a traditional authority by Government.
In another interview with Nampa earlier this month, the Secretary of the Vita Tom Traditional Authority, Pineas Mutuezu also distanced the traditional authority from the reported umbrella of traditional leaders on reparation demands.
“It really sent waves of shock to us when we read in the papers that we are part of the unity for genocide reparations by tribal leaders,” Muteze told Nampa.
On 19 September 2006, the Namibian Parliament unanimously adopted a motion calling for reparation negotiations with Germany on the 1904 - 1908 genocide during colonisation.
The late OvaHerero Chief, Kuaima Riruako tabled the motion in the National Assembly.