GIBEON, FEB 28 – President Hage Geingob today called upon citizens to exercise an atmosphere of peace, sensitivity and understanding, instead of being demeaned by misgivings and hostility. Geingob was speaking at the return of historic icon Hendrik Witbooi’s bible and whip from the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia that happened in the Hardap Region.
Geingob alluded to the fact that the Genocide of 1904-1908 was an event that has “left a deep scar on the Namibian people,” implying that the mere thought of the Genocide tore at wounds of torture, collective punishment and ultimate racial extermination of Namibians by German imperialist soldiers that were eternal.
Said Geingob: “The effects of the torture, collective punishment and ultimate racial extermination of Namibians by German imperialist soldiers are felt to this day.”
The President reasoned that “It is true that an event such as this will evoke painful memories, given the history of our country, but similarly, the repatriation of the bible and whip of Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi, is an occasion for Namibia to pay honour to one of its foremost heroes.”
For the sake of closure, according to the President, it was of utmost importance that the German Government admit to wrong-doings committed by its predecessors.
“If we are to move forward, then it is important for the German Government to admit the wrongs committed against the people of Namibia. In so doing, we expect that the most appropriate admission of this genocide will be the issuing by Germany of an apology which will be acceptable to the Namibian people. It is with this reality in mind that we are gathered here today.”
He however added that dark times in history were responsible for the birth of individuals who were determined to stand for what they believed in, no matter the cost.
“Our gathering here today is in honour of a poignant period in our nation’s history, when colossal personalities were called upon to defend the dignity of their people and territory. The brutal wave of colonial aggression which characterised the Scramble for Africa, did not spare Namibia; in fact, it drowned our people in a swell of vicious oppression. But as we have learnt from history, sometimes in the midst of our darkest hours, a hero rises to be the light bearer for the people. I am referring to none other than Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi, the man of the hour and the hero for who we have gathered here today to honour through this noble ceremony.”
Geingob reiterated the fact that Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi was born at a time when colonialism was at its zenith, and at a time when the dominating powers were carving up African territory, driven by the lust for resources and subsequent wealth.
“It is during this period that many Namibian people were separated by boundaries that paid no consideration to the demographics of the region. Our ancestors, and all of us present here today, are victims of these indiscriminate annexations; annexations which dispossessed Namibians of their land, by force and without compensation.”
He emphasised that it was in the spirit of Hendrik Witbooi, that selfless Namibians “the likes such as our Founding Father, Former President and other veterans who are here today, launched the armed struggle nearly a century later to restore the dignity of the oppressed people of Namibia.”
Geingob also expressed gratitude to Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg, for traveling to Namibia to deliver Witbooi’s bible and whip – undoubtedly historical artifacts not only to Namibia, but the African continent.
“We are glad you are here, especially at a time when Namibia and Germany are engaged in State-to-State negotiations on the issue of genocide.”
He urged all Namibians to honour the memory of Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi by holding hands and uniting under the banner of unity and issued a stern affirmation of Namibia’s sovereignty.
“Under the roof of our Namibian House to say, never again shall the people of Namibia suffer under imperialist aggression; never again shall the people of Namibia suffer under racist violence; never again shall the people of Namibia be torn apart by tribal and ethnic conflict and never gain shall the people of Namibia have to cross many rivers of blood to achieve their freedom.” – email@example.com
Photos: Namibian Presidency