No Division Amongst Nama Leaders!

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We wish to comment on the article under the heading “Namas verdeeld oor die strategie vir vergoeding” in Die Republikein newspaper of March 31, 2008.

It must be clearly stated from the outset that the two church leaders are under the mistaken impression that a reparations claim can only be made through the Government.

It is furthermore clear that they consider irrelevant factors and use these irrelevant considerations to divide the Nama people, which they by virtue of their positions are duty-bound to prevent at all costs.

For these respected leaders to distance themselves from the concerted effort by the affected groups to address the wrongs done by the German Government is a disgrace and makes their motives questionable.

The disgruntled leaders are now using the old cheap political statements to discredit credible Nama leaders in the persons of Chief Dawid Frederick, Acting Chief Josef Christiaans, Chief P.S.M Kooper and Chief Joel Stephanus, etc. or are they campaigning for a political position in the reparations drive?

If the answer to the latter question is in the affirmative, the proper advice to them is to peruse the presently burgeoning political scene to find political soul-mates if they don’t already have a political house of comfort, and not to look at the Joint Nama Front for cheap political points scoring.

They have failed as political and church leaders for the past 18 years to address the war reparations issue. The genocide committed against the Nama has not only robbed our people of their dignity but has also robbed them of their ability to dream of a future in the new Namibia.

Therefore, not embracing the daunting challenges of reparations collectively with other affected groups will forever put the Namas off tangent to be part of a united effort and purpose to advance their legitimate claim to reparations.

The Goeieman article reported that the retired clergyman “personally remanded his Chief Dawid Frederick to leave traditional affairs if he wanted to partake in politics”.

The bishop’s ‘mandate’ and reasoning becomes questionable because the fundamental question is whether he considers the participation of Chief Dawid Frederick in seeking war and genocide reparations for the Nama and other affected groups as a party-political action as alluded to in that article?

Let it be clear to the esteemed bishop, the esteemed Government, his employer or in laymen’s terms his “bread and butter”, the enigmatic and illusive Hardap traditional presence or presences which remain unnamed, that the war and genocide reparations drive will not be trivialised by this bishop or these enigmatic forces to become a party political issue.

Let it also be clear that the historical suffering of our people is in essence older than all the political formations, ranging from the present ruling Swapo Party, Swanu, DTA, Nudo and those not mentioned here.

It is imperative to note that the historical suffering of our ancestors transcends the ideological commitment of many of the present crop of political, religious and traditional leaders as they themselves know.

So dear bishop, the assertion that Chief Frederick is joining the Nudo political movement in furthering the war and genocide reparations due to the visible participation by the Ovaherero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako is arrant bunkum and cheap politics which plays into the hands of those who are quietly opposing this drive and wish to diminish its historical importance and present momentum through party-political clothing and or tribal-branding.

The Goeieman article further alluded to a claim made by the retired bishop that he would only support the present reparations initiative “if Headman Dawid Fredericks and other Nama Headmen use their traditional platform to negotiate with the German Government in collaboration with traditional leaders of the Hardap Region for the development of their followers”.

This contention clearly reveals a divisive mindset and the existence of a possible “unholy alliance”. Why only the !Am?

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