Unity is Paramount for Ovaherero


WITH less than a week to go before what could be a historic meeting in the search for ever elusive unity within the Ovaherero community, political posturing is even more evident ahead of the Okakarara meeting on March 4. Some traditional leaders have distanced themselves from this important gathering. They have their reasons. Some of these reasons are perfectly understandable. Procedurally, they should have been invited in a manner befitting their status and through the appropriate channels. We have also learned that the structuring of the meeting has its own flaws although a team of respectable academics has been selected to lead and guide the unity talks. These are Drs Zed Ngavirue, MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Tjitendero and Becky Ndjoze-Ojo. Can disunity among the Ovaherero, deep-rooted as it is and based on mistrust, politics, disrespect and disregard for one another really be addressed at an all for all meeting? Shouldn’t it have been easier and conducive to offer the objects of this disunity, notably the various traditional leaders a reclusive platform away from the guises of the public gallery to first unravel the ill feelings among themselves? Certainly, there is no denying that some pent-up emotions need venting. But the Okakarara meeting should not have been the stage for the release of bottled anger. The Ovambanderu, we understand, have also been invited to this meeting. That is good news. What is important however is that the Okakarara meeting is here. All people with profound concern for the unity of the Ovaherero and their well being should make the best out of it. This is not to take anything away from the good intentions of Chief Kuaima Riruako, who hatched the idea of a unity meeting. In so far as his intentions are genuine and well meant, then all people of goodwill should support the meeting. The Ovaherero community, long riddled by disunity and squabbles, have to rise beyond their differences and chart a roadmap for peace and reconciliation. Its leaders have to realise that they are not bigger than the community they lead. They have to show humility and humble themselves before their people who yearn for unity. The leaders have to go to Okakarara with open minds and be ready to give and take in the name of peace for their community. Okakarara should be the beginning of a healing process for this divided community. There may be no other time. As for Chief Riruako, he must note that although he is the initiator of the peace move, the meeting in Okakarara is no longer his. He must take a back seat and allow Ngavirue, Tjitendero and Ndjoze-Ojo to call the shots. Needless to say, side-by-side the need for unity, the gathering at Okakarara is expected to work out a clear position on the reparations issue. The Government of Namibia, as are many sympathisers with the cause of the Ovaherero for reparations locally, regionally and internationally, have been waiting for this divided community to bring their due on the issue. Sooner or later, they may tire if the community does not put its house in order. That is the bare essence of the Okakarara meeting and the unity of the Ovaherero people.