Ovaherero Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro has made changes to the Ovaherero red flag, replacing the symbol of late Chief Samuel Maharero with that of the late revered Chief Hosea Kutako.
The changes also include replacing the symbol of a kudu with that of a lion, as well as changing the inscription on the flag, ‘Mukuru Punaete Samuel Maharero’ to ‘Hosea Komombumbi Kutako Mukuru Punaete.’ This was confirmed by Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) secretary general Meraapi Kazombiaze in a media statement on Sunday.
Kazombiaze said the collective decision to make the changes was endorsed at a recent meeting in Okakarara attended by Rukoro in his capacity as PC and the commander-in-chief of the Ovaherero Red Flag Association (RFA), the general field marshalls and other top generals of the RFA, chiefs as well as other senior traditional leaders of the Ovaherero people.
Kazombiaze did not explain the reason for the changes but said the Red Flag leaders are in the process of informing the rank and file to implement the important decisions procedurally.
However, this did not go down well with some quarters of the Ovaherero community who feel that the new changes are an act to erase the history of the late Chief Samuel Maharero who’s considered a national hero.
According to Wikipedia, Samuel Maharero is one of nine national heroes of Namibia that were identified at the inauguration of the country’s Heroes’ Acre near Windhoek.
Founding president Sam Nujoma remarked in the inaugural speech on August 26, 2002 that Chief Samuel Maharero made plans for an uprising against the German colonial authorities and white German settlers in the country.
As a result, in January 1904 the uprising began and Chief Maharero’s forces surrounded the German colonial settlers at Okahandja, Omaruru, and the famous Battle of Ohamakari near the Waterberg Mountain.
The strength of his forces compelled the German colonial troops to send in reinforcements under the notorious General Lotha von Trotha who carried out an extermination order to wipe out all women, children and elderly persons.
“To his revolutionary spirit and his visionary memory we humbly offer our honour and respect,” aid Nujoma.
Maharero is honored in the form of a granite tombstone with his name engraved and his portrait plastered onto the slab.