News and Information
Press Statement for a Press Conference.
|August 22, 2013
| 20th August 2013
Press Statement for a Press Conference.
MADE BY THE
HERE FOLLOWS THE STATEMENT BY THE CONCERNED CAPRIVIANS OVER THE NAME CHANGE AND BORDER SHIFTING AND DERMACATION OF CONSTITUENCIES.
1. Brief History of the Caprivi Strip
‘’The Caprivi Strip which was known as German Barotseland or the German Zambezi Region or Zambesi Corridor or Deutch Bechuanaland until 1908, and since then and up to August 2013 it was called Caprivi.’’
‘’On the 1st of July 1890, German insisted that a Strip of land between the Okavango and the Zambezi be conceded to her, in order that German might gain access from the German colony of South West Africa across the Zambezi to her territories in East Africa.’’
‘’This led to German relinquishing her rights in the Sultanne of Zanzibar as well as small territories on the East Coast of Africa in favour of Great Britain. Great Britain in return ceded to German, Heligo-land, a small but militarily Strategic Island that lies in the German Coastal area’’.
‘’The Caprivi Strip was named after Count Georg, Leo Von Caprivi, Di Caprara, Di Monte Cucholli who was the German Imperial Chancellor from 20th March 1890 to 27th October 1894, Who in his capacity was responsible for the conclusion of the Heligoland – Zanzibar Treaty. It is evident to infer hereof that the entire area of the Eastern Caprivi had no local name as the ethnic groups who settled on both sides and other different parts of it called it different names.’’
2. Political Administration
The Eastern Caprivi Zipfel has had an unusual administrative history in comparison to other parts of Namibia. The Strip was sometimes ruled by Lewanika through his son Letia.
- From 1922 to 1929, it was administered by the British High Commissioner of South Africa as if it were part of the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana) by the Instruments known as South Africa Proclamation No. 12 and 23 of 1922 respectively.
- From 1929 until the 1st of August 1939 it was administered by the Administrator of South West Africa in terms of South Africa Proclamation 196 of 1929.
- In 1939 Administrative responsibility was passed to South Africa under the Minister of Native Affairs, in terms of the South Africa Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Administrative Proclamation 147 of 1939. By then proclamation 196 of 1929 ceased to apply to that area and accordingly South West Africa.
- The South West Africa Amendment Act 55 of 1951 gave the Governor General of South Africa the power to make Laws by Proclamation for the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel.
- In 1977, the South West Africa Amendment Act 95 of 1977 transferred general administrative responsibility of additional matters including the Administration of Walvis Bay.
- The Constitution Act 39 of 1968, Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Representative Authority 1980 (Proclamation AG 29 of 1980) were repealed but leaving the Proclamation 147 of 1939 made under the Mandates Act 49 of 1919 un- repealed.
- In 1990, Caprivi became one of Namibia’s 13 Regions and was referred to as Caprivi Region. Up until August 2013, Caprivi was re-named to Zambezi Region.
- It is evident to infer here-of that Caprivi as history provides, its Land is placed under the custody of Traditional Chiefs.
3. Name Change
1. There -fore we the Concerned Caprivians, an organization which stands for Unity, Peace, Democracy, emphatically wish to categorically register our heart-felt and sincere concerns regarding the Name Change and other uni-lateral decisions taken by the Government of the Republic of Namibia in Caprivi and over Caprivians.
It so surfaced that, the name change from Caprivi to Zambezi is destined to destroy our Identity and history as a symbol of Renaissance, the dilution of political foundations in the Identity of CANU – Party (the Caprivi African National Union) founded by the late Dr. Brendan Kangongolo Simbwaye and Dr. Mishake Albert Muyongo. This reminds us of the torture, humiliation, suffering and subjugation of the people of Caprivi who stood firm to fight for the freedom that many enjoy today.
To re- write the history of Caprivians should not start and be based on the name change as there is varsity of the history pointing out to other Regions, States and organizations still bearing colonial names such as Colombia, Philippines, America, Venezuela, South West Africa People’s Organisation-Swapo, Windhoek, to mention but a few, all of them as colonial names.
- We question the norm, how the Delimitation Commission came to make some recommendations over the name change when the majority masses of Caprivi were not holistically consulted.
- We so move to infer that the name Caprivi can only be changed through proper consultations and by a referendum Instrument to test for public opinion as enshrined in the Namibian Constitution.
- We also came to realise that the Pohamba Administration rushed to Gazette the name change speedily imposing such on the entire populace of Caprivi.
- Caprivian’s rights which are based on the UN equal rights and self determination gives the Caprivians the rights to accept or reject what is not in their favour.
- The Pohamba Administration should also take note of the fact that in the absence of a proper report alluding to documents applied as evidence that our Traditional Chiefs signed to agree to the name change, it is a situation that reflects the demeaning of our chiefs as custodians of communal land of Caprivi.
- The name (Zambezi/Zambezians) does not unanimously include all the Caprivians who have enjoyed relative peace under the name Caprivi by this we mean all Nationalities counted together.
- We are also aware of the intentions of the government over the name change and shifting of the boundary as it started immediately after 1992.
- We find that errors were committed by all the Delimitations, this involves all the Delimitations that came and went so we want to be availed with the Instruments used to secure information through Reports, Meetings, Deliberations, Consultations, Views and Public Inputs for that matter.
- Based on our traditions and culture, Caprivi is our common heritage, property and symbol of Unity which we shall never agree to let it go into the political drain.
- We also question why Kavango was allowed to extend into Caprivi as we came to learn through the media of the name change and cutting off of a very rich in tourism, mineral resources of our piece of land historically known to us as Western Caprivi.
- How can we accept the name change if it is destined to destroy our history and the history that we stand to tell and teach our children and the next generation from posterity to posterity?
- The name change as an expensive exercise as it is, we believe the Billions of the Dollars budgeted for such must be given to Caprivi to effect development and bring jobs to the people of Caprivi.
- We find it difficult to accept the name change as it will bring division among the peace loving Caprivians.
- The Namibian government must be cognizance of the fact that, we Caprivians have endured a lot, History is on record that we lost Kasikili Island, Mukwe Constituency and now our Identity.
- Schuckmansburg was re-named to Luhonono, Kabbe Combined School to Dr Sam Nujoma Combined School, all these are lost opportunities and a throat cutting political Bonanza.
- All the people of Caprivi including Traditional Chiefs in Caprivi and the entire leadership of Caprivi were not asked whether they supported the name Change or not.
4. Our Pleas!
Having said all these; we the Concerned Caprivians
1. We totally reject the name change and cutting off of our Region.
2. We reject the outcome of the Delimitation Commission since it does not reflect the opinion and vision of the masses of Caprivians.
3. We also move to have the border demarcation shifted to Andara for the sake of respecting Colonial Boundaries since Caprivi has got a unique history compared to all the Regions of Namibia.
5. Our Common Understanding and Pronouncements.
- Not even the President, Minister, or any GRN official in their capacity, whether at the Central Level, Regional or Local should make proposals on either Name Change or Border shifting but the people of Caprivi who are directly affected by the possible change. If it happens against this, there is a possibility of conflict of interest, hence, it is un-constitutional.
- The territory of Caprivi Strip as defined in the
1st of July 1890 Treaty must be respected.
- We therefore pronounce that, come the 29th of August 2013, all peace loving Caprivians and our Brothers and Sisters in political and trade related support should rise to demonstrate against the imposed name change to Zambezi and other unilateral decisions taken by the Regional Council, Delimitation Commission and the Government of the day.
Source: Concerned Caprivians
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