Germany prefers projects over hard cash as genocide reparation: Geingob

18 Apr 2019 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 18 APR (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob on Wednesday gave an update as to where the Namibian and German governments stand in terms of their talks regarding reparation about the genocide on Namibians 115 years ago.
Geingob did so when he responded to several queries by Members of Parliament during his State of the Nation Address.
Geingob said by the look of things, Germany is not ready to pay reparations to the affected communities in monetary terms, but rather ready to fund projects.
“I don’t think Germany will give any money, cash…Many people are thinking there will be cash that I will put in my pockets. It’s not the case,” he said.
Geingob went on: “They [German government] are talking about (funding) projects especially in the areas where those who lost or those areas (where) genocide communities (are found in Namibia).”
Seemingly buying into the idea brought, Geingob said: “And if we are together, we can start with projects like Millennium Challenge Account so that we can come together and come (up) with projects (in areas) where people are suffering who are descendants of genocide victims.”
Geingob was quick to note that negotiations are ongoing and that no agreement had been reached yet.
Further, the Namibian government remains firm in its demands that Germany must accept committing genocide, issue a genuine apology and to compensate for the losses.
Geingob reiterated that he has always wanted the genocide issue to be nationalised, and not be treated as a Nama and Herero issue, as is the case right now.
Approached for comment on Thursday, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) through its secretary general (SG) Professor Mutjinde Katjiua rejected Germany’s project proposal.
“It would be premature for me to comment because next week, we will issue a statement to that effect to tell the president how we feel. But we reject such proposals in totality,” he said.
Over 100 000 Ovaherero and Nama were killed as a result of a mass extermination policy initiated by German colonial troops between 1904 and 1908.
At present, Namibia and Germany are engaged in State-to-State negotiations on the genocide issue.
Meanwhile, the two Namibian communities have through their traditional leaders appealed the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to require Germany to pay damages over the genocide meted out against them in the US Supreme Court last month.
The primary plaintiffs in the case are OTA’s Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro and the late chairperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association, Chief David Frederick.