Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi (left) interviewed by Joanna Itzek, Journalist of the Journal International of FES on the sidelines of the German – Namibia dialogue in German
|Story by George Sanzila
Windhoek - Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi is in support of the efforts of government in the genocide negotiations noting that government’s leading role is meant to foster inclusiveness, peaceful coexistence and national reconciliation. According to Hon. Katjavivi, a sensitive negotiation such as the genocide is both emotive and complex and therefore government was well placed to take the lead in finding a cordial solution.
Hon. Katjavivi made these remarks during an interview with the International Politics and Society Journal of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a widely distributed digital media platform, on the sidelines of the German Namibia dialogue currently underway at the German Bundestag. The Namibian Speaker has been actively involved in the promotion of bilateral relations between the two legislatures in the midst of the ongoing reparation negotiations between the two countries.
He noted that the Parliament of Namibia, that initiated a motion that inspired the negotiation process, is interested in collaborating with its German counterpart and supporting government in ensuring that an amicable solution is found.
“As the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia, we have a vested interest in the successful implementation of the motion from our Parliament that kick started this entire process of negotiations. Both our parliaments have been engaged in this process and we should continue to do so. This will add value to the government to government negotiations”, said Katajavivi.
The Speaker said even though there has been distrust from some pockets of the affected Ovaherero and Nama communities regarding the negotiation, it was befitting for government to lead in the negotiation in order to promote inclusiveness and national reconciliation. “I am aware that there has been skepticism on the part of certain sections of the Ovaherero and Nama communities with regard to the current negotiations. It is important to point out that our President, Dr. Hage Geingob has been emphasizing the need for inclusiveness on the approach towards this challenge”, said Katjavivi.
Hon. Katjavivi noted that there has been wide ranging consultations with all key stakeholders and that a successful negotiation would depend on unity. “Government has instituted to manage this process. There is an open door to directly engage the key stakeholders. There is a need to ensure that all affected communities join hands in this matter. All stakeholders should form part of the solution. A successful outcome will go a long way towards strengthening reconciliation between communities inside Namibia, particularly between German speaking Namibians and the rest of their compatriots”, said Katjavivi who previously served as Namibian Ambassador to German.
The protracted negotiation, emanates from the mass ethnic killings of the Hereros and Nama by German colonial troops that took place between 1904 and 1908 following their uprising. More than 100 000 people were exterminated. Some of the victims were beheaded, and their skulls sent to Germany purportedly for “scientific experiments”.