Mbanderu Row Over Commemoration

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The Ovambanderu Concerned Community is set to boycott this year’s Green Flag Commemoration on Sunday in Okahandja. In a press release issued on Wednesday, the group stated that as a matter of principal they have decided not to participate in the 110th Commemoration of Chief Kahimemua. The official spokesperson of the Concerned Group noted that the current atmosphere, which they described as “disrespectful, non-cooperative and distrustful” prompted their decision to stay away. “The purpose of the commemoration of this imperative nature is normally to pay tribute to the late Kahimemua and other heroes and it is our opinion that commemorations of this nature must be conducted in an atmosphere which is friendly and conducive to all participants as those present are appealing to their forefathers for goodwill and prosperity in their personal capacities and as a people”. Paul Kahorere said the organisation of the event does not reflect the non-sectarianism, unity and cohesiveness that are supposed to be tenets and pre-requisites for holding such a commemoration. “The concerned Mban-derus are deliberately being sidelined and relegated to the footnote as far as the organisation of the event and the drafting of the pro-gramme”. He added that the Concerned Group felt strongly that for the sake of unity and paying proper respect and tribute to the late Kahimemua, it is only proper if they do not attend this year’s commemoration, as they will give a chance to the other party to the dispute to organise the event without interference. The spokesperson also noted they are disturbed by the fact that the other party has not acted in terms of a High Court Order which compelled the Mbanderu Traditional Authority and Chief Munjuku Nguvauva to reinstate the Ovambanderu leaders. ” We launched a court case on the 12th April 2006 and on that basis, the High Court issued a Court Order on 8th May. But as we speak, nothing has been done in that regard and we consider that a fragrant disregard and contempt of court”. The Ovambanderu commemorations take place annually when they converge at Okahandja in June to pay homage to fallen Namibian Heroes who paid a high price for the liberation of the country. The Okahandja commemorations under the Green Flag this month will pay particular tribute to the contributions made by Chief Kahi-meua of the Ovambanderu who was among the very first leaders of the era of primary resistance to colonialism. Chief Kahimemua was executed by the German colonial forces in Okahandja in 1896 following a fierce battle between his people and German troops at Otjunda in the Omaheke Region. This battle set the tone for other subsequent genocides committed by the then German government. Chief Kahimemua’s grave has been declared a national monument by the Namibian government.