Ozombuzovindimba Commemorated

Hundreds of Ovaherero and Ovambanderu on Sunday gathered at the historic Ozombuzovindimba to mark ten years of the signing of the Ozombuzovindimba Declaration.

The declaration was signed in 2004 with the first official commemoration of the then commander of German Imperial troops in Namibia, General General Lothar von Trotha’s extermination order against the Ovaherero and Ovamabnderu on October 2, 1904.

During this first commemoration in 2004 during the centenary commemoration of the wars of genocide against Namibians, at this very place where von Trotha announced the extermination in 1904, the pilgrimage led by late Ovaherero Paramount Chief, Kuaima Riruako, signed a declaration to commit themselves, to among others pursuing the ongoing claims for reparations.

Ozombuzovindimba is situated about 20 km north-east of Otjinene in the Omaheke Region.

The day which was commemorated without the late Riruako for the first time this year, was commemorated under the theme, “The Time Is Now.”

It started with a minute’s silence in memory of late Paramount Chief, Riruako and Chief Tumbee Tjombe, who has been the acting Chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and became acting Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero with the demise of Riruako until his death in July shortly after Riruako’s death.

The commemoration was also characterised by the trademark Ovaherero and Ovambanderu battle cries and procession led by horse riders with traditional ritual at Ngauzepo, a tree in Otjinene renowned as gallows of some kind where German troops hanged colonial resistence warriors, and Ozombuzovindimba, the very place where the extermination order was announced.

In his address, Paramount Chief, Aocate Vekuii Rukoro assured the hundreds gathered that they should not think that with the death of late Paramount Chief Riruako, the reparation issue will be a closed chapter.

“We will even take it to another level, I can promise you that the longer they make us to wait the more money they will have to pay,” he stressed.

“The Germans will compensate this community – that one I can promise you,” said the newly enthroned Paramount Chief. Furthermore, speaker after speaker pleaded for peace among the Ovaherero community.

On his part, White Flag Chief, Raphael Kapia of Omaruru, assured Rukoro that he has got the full support of his community.

“Running a community as big as this will need support of everyone, therefore I call upon you here today to rally behind Rukoro so that he can accomplish our desires,” he said.

However, most notable absentees at the event were, Chief Tjitana Kavei of Gam, Chief Vipuira Kapuuo and Chief Tjipene Keja.

He warned as long as the Ovaherero continued mixing politics and culture together, divisions within would continue for years.

Source : New Era