News and Information

Diescho conducts a public lecture in Caprivi
November 8, 2011
PROFESSOR Joseph Diescho speaking at a Public Lecture at Bienati`s conference hall

By Simon Liseli

NAMIBIAN intellectual who is currently based in South Africa conducted his first ever-public lecture in Katima Mulilo after the Caprivi Discussion Forum called him.

Professor Joseph Diescho recently conducted a public lecture focusing much on education, tribalism and history surrounding issues of politics in Africa and Namibia.
The event took place at Bienati’s conference hall and the theme was “education and development for good governance in Namibia”.

Speaking during the gathering Professor Diescho said he is more interested in education that is why he thought of visiting Katima Mulilo to meet people and talk on educational issues. He called on people of the region to be pro-active and concerned with what is happening in their lives and is willing to engage themselves to work with others to bring development.

He said his last visit to Katima Mulilo was in 1982 and that was the time when he came to understand why there was a segment of the Namibian population before independence following different things they were doing.

“I spent the whole week-end in Katima and the man who provided most of the information was my brother the late Mr. Ernest Likando,” he said.

Diescho added saying during that visit the area was pre occupied with the search for an understanding for what they called the independent of Intenge. He said he came to gather all historical materials and understood the things they were saying.

“They are challenges in Africa one of it is who are we in Africa? If you cannot answer that question yourself you cannot participate meaningfully in the protection of nation building,” said the professor.

He gave an example that in order for any nation to participate in any kind of sporting code internationally whether in soccer, rugby, netball or volleyball such a nation should have its own strong team to represent its country.

“You cannot play basketball while others are playing soccer in other words you cannot send well trained volleyball players to represent your country in athletics and in many cases in Africa we have discovered that and that is why we don’t win,” he said.

According to him, self knowledge, understanding, self determination and self affirmation and direction are very important and if a person does not know whether is a man or woman such a person cannot play a meaningful role in the society as such a person is confused with his or her identity.“You will not even know whether to use men’s toilet or women,” said Diescho.

What do we mean by tribal identity and tribalism? Professor explained this saying in most African languages there is no word for tribe, he asked the other word for tribe in siLozi and he refuted the answer when he said that its ‘MUSHOBO’ “No mushobo is just a color not a tribe,” he refuted.

During his lecturing professor Diescho mentioned out that in 1990 the Namibian government decided to call the Caprivi region as Lyambezi with the reason that they wanted to lift up the Zambezi river which was the same problem with the German had and the Germans believed that people of the Caprivi should have access to the river as its very important in Africa’s history and it produces two sides of Victoria falls.

He said the Zimbabweans and Zambians should be paying tax to the Caprivi Council as the water they are using comes from the Zambezi River and when Namibia gained its independence decided to call it Lyambezi with the other reason that it’s more unique and unites people especially those who wanted to be called Caprivians and those who didn’t want and it was the residents of the region who refused saying they are Caprivians and wanted to return the identity of Germans, “There is nothing wrong with that you are Caprivians,” he said.

He further added that among the people of Caprivi there are tribal configurations like the Mafwe, Masubia, and the Lozi people are the very unique entity who derived all the way from the Barotseland in western Zambia and some of them in Botswana which he said it was a problem of apartheid in South Africa.

“Caprivi was not administered as part of South West Africa, we the people here we were playing sport with Botswana and do relationship with people in Zambia to the extent that around 1969 to the time when Caprivi became a self governing country remember that with Chief Moraliswani as a Chief Minister” he explained.

Professor said the Radio station which was announcing the Caprivi situation was based in Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa and that means it was a part of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), “late Mr. John Mutonga was in Johannesburg as part of South Africa,” he pointed out.

When Namibia gained its independence they didn’t know quiet how to handle it, “mind you no African country knows how to handle tribalism what they do they knee-jack reaction when ever people asks why are you treating us like this, its secessionist they claim down for it,” said Diescho.

Professor Diescho said around 1998-99 when the secessionist effort took place in Katima Mulilo the funding came from Pretoria, “Do you know that? I have a friend by the name of Kenneth Sililo Mubu who was born here in Katima Mulilo at the side of Zambia and he belonged to secessionist, they had an office in Pretoria and they called themselves the Barotse Revolutionary Council and I told him that they were Subias in that council, I don’t think they were Mafwe or Mbukushu in that council,” explained the professor.

He said it is only in 1964 when CANU under Mishake Muyongo joined SWAPO and it was very very dedicate arrangement, the SWAPO and CANU needed Caprivi in order to launch the war from Caprivi as it is closer to Zambia and the CANU people wanted to grow but they were certain things they didn’t discuss during their arrangement with SWAPO.

“For instance if Mishake Muyongo started talking about treating Caprivi with the delicacy he should have started in 1989, who did it well is Chief Diergaardt from Rehoboth because he knows, he said they want to be treated differently from other people because they are Basters so the mistake Muyongo made is not to say it early enough until he was loitering himself,” he explained.

He professed that Mr.Muyongo had opportunities if he could have started talking of his people in 1989 that they have a different history compared to others in the country and that Caprivians were not treated the way he observed, and they were not part of South West Africa and needed to include in their package of independence because some agreements and understandings are that Caprivi was neglected and Caprivians were used more than any other people.

“For instance if I was in the national government I could have said we need to treat Caprivians differently, I cannot understand why nobody have said about this, Namibia have a very wonderful region that can feed the rest of the country and that is Caprivi,” he lamented.

The professor added again saying through that way the University of Agriculture was supposed to be created in the Caprivi region to develop and build the nation and all other ethnic group in the country were going to mix up and learn from one another.

, we all came from the great lakes region now Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Cameroon, Angola in the North East and we started to move Southward in search of food and water, all there was a dispute between two groups over a wife, water or cattle and this is how lobola was introduced and lobola is not an African custom but it existed before and it was introduced to regulate economic conflict,” he furthered.

The public lecture was made possible by forum for the feature in conjunction with the Caprivi Discussion Forum with logistical support by the Germany Windhoek based NGO, Konrad Adenuer Foundation.

Caption: (PROFESSOR Joseph Diescho speaking at a Public Lecture at Bienati`s conference hall.)


    Support Caprivi Freedom
Fill out the form below to become a member of this site and receive our regular newsletter.

First Name
Last Name