OvaHerero youth dismayed by infighting

07 Oct 2013 09:10am
OMARURU, 07 OCT (NAMPA) – A number of OvaHerero youth leaders on Sunday expressed concern about the constant infighting and disunity in the Herero community.
Hundreds of ovaHerero community members gathered at the White Flag Commando office in Omaruru over the weekend to commemorate the 87th annual White Flag Day.
Addressing the event on behalf of the youth leaders, Joshua Kaumbi from the Zeraeua community urged Zeraeua Traditional Authority chief Manasse Zeraeua to see to it that the annual White Flag Day at Omaruru is used as a platform to unite the Herero community.
Since the death of Chief Christian Eerike Zeraeua of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority early last year, there has been a lot of tension amongst the Herero community under the Zeraeua Traditional Authority.
Matters worsened in September last year when differing members under the same traditional authority installed two different chiefs as successors to the late Chief Zeraeua.
The two clans - one led by the late Zeraeua’s son Manasse Zeraeua and the other by Raphael Hiangungo Kapia of the Ovakweyuva Notjipepa clan - each held separate coronations for their chosen leaders at different venues, as both men claimed that they are the rightful heirs to the throne.
A few days after the installation of these two chiefs, a dispute was declared in court.
The youth leaders said they are especially concerned about the Zeraeua issue, as it was a united royal house in the past.
“Why can the infighting amongst our people not come to an end? If it was possible for us to forgive the Germans and Boers who colonised us and brutally killed our people during the liberation struggle, why can’t we forgive each other, unite and co-operate?” Kaumbi asked.
He also cautioned the ovaHerero community to forget about reparations from the German government for the atrocities committed during the 1904 to 1908 genocide - when thousands of OvaHerero and Nama people lost their lives - unless the community unites and speaks with one voice.
The main event of the two-day White Flag Day commemorations took place on Sunday with horse-riding, traditional marching and performances forming part of the programme.
The community also visited the graves of the fallen heroes of the Zeraeua Royal House at Omaruru.
In attendance during the event were the Minister of Lands and Resettlement Alpheus !Naruseb and Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Kilus Nguvauva, several Government officials as well as other traditional leaders.
A notable absence, however, was that of Kapia’s followers, which is a clear indication of how deeply divided this community still is.
Contacted for comment, the spokesperson of that faction, Duludi Ndjiharine said Kapia and his followers decided not to attend the 87th White Flag Day commemoration because of the ongoing dispute between the two groups.
He explained that the purpose of the annual event in Omaruru is, amongst others, for people to visit the graves of their ancestors and ask for luck, peace and unity.
“But now since we are still divided, there is no luck, peace and unity that we can get from our ancestors. Therefore, let us unite first and then commemorate the day together,” Ndjiharine noted.