Windhoek-Outspoken politician and former cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo has called for the immediate removal of German Ambassador to Namibia, Christian Schlaga, saying the diplomat is on the verge of causing instability in the country.
Speaking to New Era on the sidelines of the public lecture on genocide in Windhoek on Wednesday night, Kazenambo, now a fulltime businessman said if Schlaga’s attitude towards the genocide was displayed in Germany – where Nazi support is criminal – he would be jailed.
Schlaga hit back by claiming that no one takes Kazenambo seriously, and would thus not respond to his verbal attack.
Kazenambo was irked by Schlaga’s comments contained in his (Schlaga) response to National Youth Council (NYC) executive chairman Mandela Kapere, published in New Era on Wednesday.
In that response, Schlaga said he suggested in June 2017 that Namibia and Germany find “a common language for the events from 1904 to 1907”, which Namibians generally regard as genocide. Schlaga’s suggestion for a different term, other than genocide, to be used is what seems to have irked Kazenambo, a former youth and sport minister. “Schlaga is provoking a new war. Genocide has been declared by the United Nations and the Nama and the Ovaherero genocide have been listed by the United Nations as genocide. Who’s Schlaga to say otherwise?
“Germany and Namibia is a full member of the United Nations. We are thus shocked that they [Germany] are still disputing this fact,” added furious Kazenambo.
He said the Namibian government must make sure that this “neo-Nazi in Windhoek”, in reference to the ambassador, is recalled with immediate effect because he is not helping.
He said as survivors of genocide and as a former minister who headed the delegation which returned the first batch of skulls on behalf of the Namibian government from Germany, he will never accept Schlaga’s stance.
Kazenambo said Schlaga has crossed all the lines and is pushing the community, especially the genocide-affected communities, to the edge.
“Mr Schlaga is radicalising the genocide-affected communities with daily insults and his insensitivity on the issue of the genocide,” thundered Kazenambo.
He said as a victim of genocide, he is no longer going to be quiet while Schlaga is on the offensive against the affected communities. Contacted for comment yesterday, Schlaga said Namibians have not taken Kazenambo seriously in Namibia for some time.
“Why then should the German Embassy do [so],” he questioned. “His latest utterances described by you just confirm that he cannot be taken seriously, once again,” Schlaga added.
Schlaga ruffled some feathers last week with comments he allegedly made that “Germany paid more per capita to Namibia in development aid compared to any other African country”.
In response, National Youth Council Executive Chairperson Mandela Kapere said: “I was extremely concerned by the out-of-context boasting of Schlaga regarding the so-called ‘highest per capita’ income aid to Namibia.”
But in response to Kapere, the Germany Embassy this week stated that Schlaga was responding to President Hage Geingob’s question on how Germany was contributing to fight structural social inequality in Namibia.
Schlaga reportedly responded that: “Within the framework of the development cooperation with Namibia, Germany committed herself to a financial contribution being the highest per capita in all of Africa. Thus, since Namibia’s independence, Germany financed numerous projects which contributed considerably to the economic and social development of Namibia and, thereby, contributed to the reduction of the structural social inequalities in this country.”
The embassy continued: “The German Ambassador never – neither during this meeting nor before – linked the subject of German development cooperation with the complex matter of what lessons Germany should draw from Germany’s colonial past during the years 1904-1907.”
“This remains a completely different matter, which is being dealt with within the framework of the bilateral negotiations between the governments of Namibia and Germany. This matter was, therefore, not even touched upon during the meeting with His Excellency the President of Namibia,” the embassy said, in a response fully published elsewhere in this edition.