News and Information

Caprivi Case needs a political solution and not repatriation.
July 8, 2010

We know that Namibia have been trying to persuade its neighbor Botswana to see Caprivians back to their motherland. Meetings like the one which for the first time brought Ikanjo, Namibia’s local government minister in Dukwi refugee Camp in 1999, and several other meetings including the recent one involving Hishongwa that was held in Francistown was an outcome of such pressure to a peace loving country, Botswana. It was said that their interest is to see Namibians in Dukwi return back to Namibia.

Firstly, Namibia knows as well as we do that Caprivi is not part of Namibia, and its people are not Namibians but Caprivians oppressed and suppressed by a regime resistant to change that is inevitable. In the struggle of OPO and CANU under SWAPO, the two parties and/or countries fought for the common purpose of liberating their countries and it is a known fact that a merger was signed but not honored, which is the borne of contention today. Secondly, in 1999 Caprivians stood up fighting for their motherland, and the Namibian government randomly arrested Caprivians whether or not they participated in the war. The arrested people have been behind bars ever since without a fair trial. Eleven years has passed while these poor Caprivians are imprisoned by the Namibian government. Courts in Namibia are un-independent as the judges are appointed by the executive and not by the legislature, which makes it impossible for the courts to exercise their right to an independent decision especially in cases like this one where Caprivians want independence for their motherland. It is a known fact that one cannot despise and hurt the hand that feeds him.

It is absurd that Namibians in the likes of Jerry Ikanjo, Hidino Hishongwa , and their government could come in Botswana to claim Caprivians to go back home while they still have not resolved the Case of Caprivians in the Namibian prisons. It does not make sense for the Namibian government to say they were claiming Namibians and not Caprivians in Dukwi refugee camp to take voluntary repatriation. There are no Namibians in Dukwi but Caprivians who want the Caprivi Case resolved amicably so that they can return back home in a safe and independent Caprivi. Namibia has no right to claim Caprivians in Botswana. Ikanjo, Hishongwa , and their government should first clean their table by releasing all imprisoned Caprivians in their prisons, and let them exercise their right to self determination leading to the total independence of Caprivi.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) President Mr. Muyongo and his leadership have indicated in no uncertain terms that they were and are ready to sit around the table with the SWAPO government to finding a lasting solution to the Caprivi Case. Today the death toll of Caprivians in the Namibian prisons has risen to 19. It is believed without doubt that all the deaths were politically organized deaths. We believe that SWAPO government is poisoning them in an attempt to totally silencing them to fighting for their motherland. They do not have any reasons in their defense why they arrested Caprivians, and they know that time is not on their side and is now an issue regarding their arrests and detention, that is why they now resorted to eliminating them.

Let us step a bit further and analyze the words of the former President Mr. Sam Nujoma in his Autobiography, where others wavered, he mentioned that he once returned back to South West Africa/Namibia with Mr. Pohamba during the liberation struggle and according to him Mr. Muyongo made himself sick., and again his briefcase was stolen by the boers’ spy in a hotel. This does not make sense and is inconclusive. The only logical explanation to that situation was that Mr. Nujoma had prior arrangements to see the spy take the briefcase to his employers. He knew what he was doing that is why he slept all the time in custody. In simple terms it is safe to mention here that he was one of them that is why he was not arrested and sent to Ruben Island like everyone-else. You see, Mr. Muyongo had been consistent in all his dealings regarding the Caprivi Case. He was relieved of his duties as SWAPO Vice President after questioning the “merger” agreement OPO and CANU signed in 1964 in Lusaka, Zambia, which he still fighting for up to date.

Caprivians in exile left their motherland the Caprivi and sought asylum in Botswana and elsewhere running away from a brute force illegally occupying their land by force. They came into Botswana seeking for a country that will recognize their plight and quest for freedom. Many of them who went back home have been persecuted both in prison and at home, and many are still being imprisoned in Namibia to date. We cannot believe that UNHCR engage in such a heinous act of returning people to their death. Nothing have changed from the part of the government nor is Caprivi independent, if these people are returned back home, they are yet to face their waist nightmare at the hands of a regime known with a reputation of killing their own people.

We are not economic but political refugees, Caprivians in Dukwi are not disgruntled economic but political refugees organized under the United Democratic Party (UDP) fighting to liberate their country, Caprivi. Caprivians all over the world do not want or need repatriation as it is not a solution to their political case. What they need is a political solution where their leaders will be summoned to engage in negotiations to free the Caprivi and its people from Namibia. UNHCR should be ambassadors of peace and not enemies of peace. What they need to do is to bring the two parties in the conflict and facilitate to finding an amicable solution to the conflict. We know that some of these cadres are being paid by the Namibian government to fuse or end the Caprivian dream of independence. This is why problems do not end in Africa. Caprivians will not stop in their way and quest to seek independence of their motherland. Our hope is that Botswana as a peace loving country should not fall into Namibia’s persuasions but together with international community find a lasting solution to the Caprivi Case. We are determined and have faith in taking the whole step even if it is dark to see the stair case.

Neocolonialism should have no room in today’s democratic world. Caprivians have played an open book in terms of what they want. They want a UN organized referendum where Namibians are not involved or allowed to participate. Release all Caprivians imprisoned in Namibia to participate in a referendum. Why is Namibia afraid to take the way of a referendum? The world needs to find out from the Namibian government and force them to take that political route as it is what the international protocols suggests in case of political conflict like the one between Caprivians and Namibia. It is for these reasons that we call upon all peace loving countries, World Church Organizations, Human Rights Organizations, SADC, AU, and the United Nation to find a lasting solution to the Caprivi Case. You should not wait for Namibia to politically eliminate all Caprivians in the Namibian prisons, but act now when there is still time to save the few left.


Chrispin Mutoiwa

UDP Secretary for Information


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