Herero descendants want 50 000 plots, 10 000 houses

SWAKOPMUND Some descendants of the 1904-1908 genocide in which thousands of Hereros and Namas were massacred by German soldiers are demanding 50 000 plots from the Namibian government and 10 000 houses from the German government.

The descendants, currently living at the coast, made the demands during a meeting held last Saturday in the DRC settlement in Swakopmund.

They say the municipalities of Swakopmund, Windhoek, Okahandja, Karibib, Omaruru, Keetmanshoop and Luderitz that was home to German concentration camps must avail these plots to them.

Activist and representative of the descendants, Laidlaw Peringanda, said they want Germans who owns more than one farm to give back such farms for redistribution to the Herero and Nama descendants.

Otherwise land invasion will be the last option. Government failed for the last 28 years to use Article 16 (2) of Property of the Namibian Constitution, that makes expropriate property in the public interest subjected to just compensation, he said.

Peringanda also said that government must also stop wasting taxpayer's money through the 'willing buyer willing seller' process.

He says the German government should be the one buying these farms back from their own people and return it back to its rightful owners.

These farms were forcefully taken from our forefathers, hence they bear indigenous names up to now. We simply cannot buy back land that was stolen from us, he said.

Peringanda said they give government until the 02 October to respond to their demands.

Another member of the group, Lourens Ndura said that if their demands are not met favourably, they will forcefully occupy farms and drop off their elderly at German old age homes in Swakopmund.

They get the same treatment as their oppressors. Why should our elderly live in shacks while our oppressors live in decent facilities? We are in this situation because of them and they must rectify it, he said.

Apart from this, the group also demands that government should order Germany to return all documents and furnish all details of all people killed during the genocide.

They also want both Namibia and Germany to publicly make a statement on the Marine Denkmall monument in Swakopmund as well as what had happened to the prisoners of war that was taken from Karibib and Otjimbingwe and loaded on a ship to an unknown destination.

If our demands are not met, we as the descendants of the genocide will individually lay a charge against our government, he said.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia