OKAKARARA: Okakarara Constituency Councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu on Saturday threatened that the OvaHerero people will emulate the example of Zimbabwe and forcefully take back land lost during the 1904-1908 war of resistance.
Speaking at the commemoration of the battle of Ohamakari in the Okakarara area on Saturday, Kandorozu accused Government of failing to assist the OvaHerero in reclaiming their land which was lost from 1904 to 1908.
“We lost our land and Government has shown no interest in the past years to assist us in getting it back. One day we will organise ourselves as Hereros and grab farmlands around here by force so that Government can start listening to us,” he stated.
Kandorozu went on to urge Otjiherero-speaking youths to be vigilant on the issue of land lost when scores of OvaHerero were exterminated between 1904 and 1908 and said they should start claiming back such land from the government.
The councillor stated that he would see to it that what happened in Zimbabwe with regards to land-grabbing happens here as well, “so that Namibian Hereros can get their share of land”.
He also lashed out at Government for compensating freedom fighters who participated in the liberation struggle before looking at the interests of the Ovaherero, and accused the government of failing in its 22 years of ruling to erect a monument at the well-known battlefield of Ohamakari.
“We now urge Government to come to the battlegrounds of Ohamakari and hold the 2013 Heroes Day event here,” said Kandorozu, while those present at the commemoration event cheered him on.
OvaHerero Traditional Authority advisor Dr Hoze Riruako joined the councillor in slating Government in the way it handles land issues, focusing specifically on the resettlement programme.
The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement introduced the registration of customary land rights in the communal areas for areas of up to 20 hectares of land.
The customary land registrations are underway in all 13 regions.
Riruako said Government implemented the resettlement policy in order to meet the needs of “some tribes residing in other parts” of the country.
“We suffered a lot under the hands of (German commander) Lothar von Trotha. We bled a lot, this land issue was supposed to be dealt with right away after the country’s independence. The base of wealth is land,” he said.
Hundreds of Otjiherero-speaking Namibians on Saturday gathered at the Okakarara Cultural Centre to commemorate the battle of Ohamakari, which broke out between the OvaHerero and German armed forces on 11 August 1904.
Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Rapama Kamehozu and several traditional leaders from the region were also present at the commemoration event.