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Keynote Speech ľ Mass Meeting Caprivi Strip 03 June 2012
June 7, 2012


Mass Meeting

Ngweze Community Hall

Caprivi Region 03 June 2012
The Director of Ceremony,
Members of the Media,
Religious and Traditional leaders,
Political and Business leaders,
Security Agents of State,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

How fortunate I am to address you this Sunday afternoon on behalf of the concerned people who signed the petition of the jealously banned peaceful demonstration!
This event was initiated to clear the false stories and misinterpretations created around the above stated peaceful demonstration. Remember that our petition was classified as ´┐Żpro-secession´┐Ż by NAMPOL inspector general, Leut. Gen. Ndeitunga. This was the major unfair response to us, a result of gross misinterpretation.

You may recall false reports from state media, New era newspaper and alike, that as organizers of the demonstration we are apparently diehard secessionists inspired by events in Barotseland, Mali, Syria, Libya, etc. We have been falsely portrayed as violent men. On that day, Friday the 13th of April 2012, fully armed government security forces were dispatched around NBC local radio station, to shoot and kill us had we gathered there. From then, false war suspicions (propaganda) were created and spread by State Security agents, linking it to us.

People are said to live in fear of an armed attack any day, any time, apparently by Caprivi Liberation Army. All these are false stories created as backup to their mistake of banning our peaceful demonstration that we requested peacefully!

We have been interrogated even by Regional Council where death and related threats around the Caprivi issue were ushered at us. Peaceful demonstration is such a simple event, but for us it became a matter of employment and unemployment, life and death! Such threats happen to be made by politically empowered Countrymen who should represent us. For the reason that all is well with them, they think that things should remain the same. They do not care about us, those in prison, and those in exile.

Carelessly handled by these leaders, it has gone to an extent that tribal authorities have been warned to warn their subjects against expressing themselves on the Caprivi political issue. They claim that the demonstration is the reason why Caprivi high treason suspects will ´┐Żno longer´┐Ż hear their verdicts in September this year, until the first quarter of next year! Little do they know that they are confessing political interference in Caprivi high treason trial! By the power they stretch the trial length of those political prisoners, may they please unconditionally release them.

DIRECTOR OF CEREMONY; allow me to categorically make it clear that we do not, and will not incite any offence whatsoever but suggest a road map which may prevent the recurring of 2nd August 1999. Neither do we undermine any court but lay down public conviction that requires serious attention.

We are here, as we intended with the peaceful demonstration, to demand justice, denounce social injustice, and curse any political humiliation this far. We are here to reiterate our humanitarian political call. We are here to exercise our democratic right, that which was denied to us earlier. We are here to nurture our fragile democracy. We are to defy fear, not government. All in all, we are here to advice Government of Namibia on an issue which largely concerns every Caprivian.

Let it be understood that whatever we are calling for is done in spirit and principle of social justice, morality, public order, democracy and national security, amongst others. Be it calling for an unconditional release of all Caprivi political prisoners, or a referendum on the Caprivi political dispute, all are, in context, based on provisions of the Supreme Law of Namibia. Such laws include:

1. The right to freedom of speech and expression
2. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief
3. That the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.
4. That in any judicial proceedings respect for human dignity shall be guaranteed.
5. That no persons shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
6. That a trial shall take place within a reasonable time, failing which the accused shall be released.
7. That all persons charged with an offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law.
8. And lastly, the power and function of the National Assembly to initiate, approve or decide to hold a referendum on matters of national concern;

MASTER OF CEREMONY, we declare here that we are neither the first nor the last to refer to Caprivi high treason suspects as political prisoners, nor are we the first or last to say that there is a political dispute between Government of Namibia and the United Democratic Party (UDP) concerning the Caprivi Strip. In both cases peaceful political solutions cannot be overlooked.

Hence, we do not hesitate to once more again suggest, or rather demand 1) a political dialogue between President Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba and Mr. Albert Mishake Muyongo the president of UDP, 2) the unconditional release of all Caprivi political prisoners, and 3) a referendum on the Caprivi political dispute.

While it appeared as if it is primitive to call for clarity on the status of 1964 SWAPO´┐ŻCANU merger in our petition, as concerned citizens, we are not surprised that CANU has been revived by fellow sons of the soil. Against this background, we officially drop the demand concerning CANU-SWAPO merger from our petition here and now. Not because of their recent threats but to provide space for each other, so that they stay out of our way.

The new CANU leadership should stand firm in their approach and be vigilant but never betray, or aim to at fellow Caprivians. We are all Caprivians. We wish them Good Luck. The Academic Doctors and New CANU are not cowards and whatever different opinions they hold, the fact remains that there is a lot of political dust in Caprivi which must be debated and peacefully settled. Even if the merger agreement is in the briefcase and keys are lost, authors and signatories of that agreement are still alive. Why then can´┐Żt they peacefully discuss one on one!

The revival, legitimate or not, must send a clear message to the SWAPO-led government that ignorance, arrogance and aggression does not wash any stain. SWAPO must be assured that silence is not always consent.

However, in our determination to see or find a peaceful solution, we hereby withdraw the statement which cautioned of a possible war because of persistent misinterpretations and that it has been used as a loophole to deny us our right. It is therefore up to those creating false suspicions of war, Security Agents in Caprivi to continue with their corrupt investigations to get S&Ts at the cost of tax-payers´┐Ż money. We are determined to peace.

Calling for a peaceful political solution to a political dispute is never a crime. For example, in his State of the Nation address of 25 April 2012, The President of Namibia said (I QUOTE) ´┐ŻWe are also concerned about the escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. We therefore call for a peaceful solution to the conflict. Reason should prevail so that the current conflict does not evolve into full-scale warfare´┐Ż (END OF QUOTE). The President did not commit any crime in saying so; neither did he interfere with the territorial integrity of Sudan and South Sudan.

Sudan and South Sudan was once a unitary state and both territories were recognized by the international community through the organs of the United Nations as Sudan. There was war in Sudan then, between secessionists and the state but at some points, peace agreements were signed. Not because there were no longer arms around the world but to peacefully and permanently settle the conflict that took thousands of civilian lives. In the end, through peace agreements, a referendum was accepted even by Hassan El Bashir, president of Sudan.

Likewise, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, we are concerned about the refugee population from Caprivi, political prisoners from Caprivi who have spent about 13 years waiting for justice, we are also concerned about twenty-one (21) souls from Caprivi lost while political detention. We therefore call for a peaceful solution to the Caprivi political conflict before we finally resolve to go for street protests every Sunday.

Having made our position clear, we take this opportunity to seriously warn those on a campaign to vilify us. We do not have anything that can take their lives, not even the right to do so. They are leaders not wise enough to understand and deliver the aspirations of people they purport to represent and lead. Continuation of their campaign will one day backfire. We know what people want.

DIRECTOR OF CEREMONY, allow me to thank the people of Caprivi for resisting evil influence of monetary inspired politicians against us. WE SAY THANK YOU COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN! We thank you for being there for us; we thank you for being there for those in prison and those in exile. You have not forsaken them in deed. We are convinced that people of Caprivi are not blind, not deaf, nor heartless but complete, sane and humane.

In all we have done or attempted, challenges are always there. The biggest challenge is that of fear amongst the people. Some confess that they are cowards. We only wonder who did this to people! Humanity, integrity and dignity needs to be restored in people of Caprivi. Most of the people in Caprivi feel like sub-human. Some even say that it is because of this Sub-Humanity that we were denied to peacefully demonstrate.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, this is one of the reasons why we insist on a referendum. Let us say it again, referendum on the Caprivi political dispute does not automatically mean secession of Caprivi Strip. Therefore, calling us ´┐Żdiehard secessionist´┐Ż or ´┐Żpro-secessionists´┐Ż will not solve anything. There is a young generation which is robbed of proper parenthood, and is suffering socially, economically, and psychologically because of the dispute.

Time to resolve the dispute is today.

We know that GRN has never, but never attempted to settle the issue despite calls for a dialogue or referendum by UDP, human rights organizations and the general public. People have the right to soberly ask: How does SWAPO-led government intend to effectively deal with the political aspect of Caprivi high treason and the Caprivian refugee population? When will that be? For how long will this dispute be swept and kept under the carpet?

Every concerned individual, family and institution or organization should publicly call on government of Namibia to seek a settled solution to this dispute no matter the odds. Humanity must restore our warring society. It is not our wish for this dispute to proceed to the next generation.

Our elders must find time to discuss and negotiate any possible peaceful means to settle this dispute at the household/family level to the highest level in our society. All present here, those that will get this message, when you get home today, start discussing this issue with your family.

Time has come to wear the shoes of political prisoners and those in exile so that you understand the need to help them. Time has come to show how much we love them, me and you. Time has come to reason with them. It is our innate responsibility to seek social justice and denounce injustice. We must all contribute to finding a lasting solution once and for all, in whatever amounts or form.

Let me take this opportunity to inform the audience that here and now, the process of signing the petition of the banned demo will resume. This is for those who never had an opportunity to do so. It is still crucial because the petition needs signatory support which may one day convince Government and NGOs to comply.

Who said we do not want unity? Who said we do not want peace? Who said we do not equality? Who said we do not want justice? And who said we do not want prosperity enjoyed elsewhere?

The Director of Ceremony,
Members of the Media,
Religious and Traditional leaders,
Political and Business leaders,
Security Agents of State,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let there be light´┐Ż Let there be peace´┐Ż Let there be equality´┐Ż Let there be justice´┐Ż Let there be freedom´┐Ż Let there be love´┐Ż Let there be unity´┐Ż Let there be prosperity...

God Bless Those in Prison´┐Ż
God Bless those in exile´┐Ż
God bless all victims of the situation´┐Ż
God bless Caprivi´┐Ż


Source: United Democratic Party (UDP)

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