Herero Conference Spawns Optimism


By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Herero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako says he is extremely satisfied with the turnout and the spirit of the All Ovaherero Conference, which took place at Okakarara over the weekend. Riruako told New Era yesterday that the foundation for unity among his people has been laid and that a plan of action must now be drafted. ” I think that the Herero people initiated a process that will one day eventually restore the dignity of our community, restructure its structures and reconstruct and heal our battered souls as a community.” Riruako said the meeting recognized his weakness individually as a leader, his fallibility as a human being and the weakness collectively of the community. ” We looked at our past mistakes and shortcomings, common and individual, and equally we reflected on our strengths, personal and as a community.” Riruako added that the rapporteurs of the conference are now busy fine-tuning the resolutions of the meeting, which should be officially released tomorrow. The chief, who will be burying his father, said the refined resolutions would first be given to the directors of ceremony of the meeting, namely, Chief Tumbee Tjombe, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, Dr MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Tjitendero and Dr Zed Ngavirue before being made public. “Since I will be gone to my father’s funeral, Ngavirue and Chief Vipuira Kapuuo will present the resolutions.” Bob Kandetu, who also presented a statement at the All Ovaherero Conference, said he was also happy and impressed with the spirit and the manner in which the meeting was conducted. He however noted that unity is a process and that it will take time to bridge the differences among the different Herero community members. He noted that disunity among the Ovaherero is not a recent event and started some decades ago. Kandetu highlighted the events that led to the isolation of Daniel Kariko in the Omaruru/ Okombahe regions at the time the Germans entered that area. ” When Samuel Maharero had to leave the country, at the time Hosea Kutako was identified and given the reins of the nation. There were grumblings. When Kutako died and Kapuuo was identified, there were grumblings and when Kapuuo died and Riruako was identified there were grumblings.” Kandetu noted that disunity among the Ovaherero/Ovambanderu is not only a facet of contemporary leadership. ” It has multilateral causes through generations and it may be self-deceit to believe that this can be addressed in one go.” He noted that the Herero community will need a sober, patient, critical and objective assessment that will take them back into their history, and called for proper planning and appropriate dispute management formulas. ” The leadership of the Ovaherero remains divided in thought and in purpose and attempts at reunification have to date defied all wisdom.” Kandetu also ascribed the disunity among the Herero community to the political role the group has played in the country. “My humble submission is that there are no contradictions in the Ovaherero leadership being highly political in orientation because the history is replete with testimony that the Ovaherero leadership has through the years been at the centre stage of shaping Namibia’s political culture.”

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