News and Information

March 17, 2005

Posted by: nshr on Mar 17, 2005 - 04:07 PM
Press Releases March 17 2005

A potentially violent inter-tribal and intra-tribal conflict over village jurisdiction is looming in the volatile Caprivi Region according to human rights monitor and residents’ reports. The quadri-angular dispute---which human rights monitors and other sources in the Region described as “very serious”---is allegedly triggered by a letter recently received from Minister Joel Kaapanda of the Ministry of Regional, Local Government and Housing.

The document allegedly states that certain villages, including Muyako, Mubiza and Shikanjabuka, fall under the jurisdiction of the Masubia Traditional Authority (MTA). Based on the said document on February 26 2005 the MTA held a meeting at Muyako village informing residents of Muyako, Sikanjabuka and Mubiza that they were now MTA subjects.

The said villages, located between 14 and 70 kilometers southeast of Katima Mulilo, the regional capital, normally fall under the jurisdiction of the rival Mafwe tribe, led by exiled Chief Boniface Mamili.

When approached for comment about the conflict earlier this afternoon, Minister Joel Kaapanda in a telephone conversation with NSHR’s Phil ya Nangoloh stated:

“I have no idea or clue about that. As you might be aware a Minister has no power to do that either. I am not aware of the situation and we do not have anything on our table about the situation”.

Meanwhile human rights monitors also reported that another parallel tri-angular intra-tribal dispute within the Mafwe tribe is also looming. Former Mafwe Senior Headman and now rival Chief Mayuni of the newly-inaugurated Mashi tribe is allegedly claiming that western Mafwe villages, including Sibbinda, Makanga, Masida, Singalamwe and Lizauli, fall under his jurisdiction. Another former Mafwe Senior Headman and now also rival Chief Boniface Shufu of the Mayeyi tribe is allegedly also claiming that several Mafwe villages, including Kapani, Maunga, Malengalenga and Liashulu fall under his jurisdiction and not that of the Mafwe tribe.

A group of loyalist Mafwe senior headmen from the eastern villages of Mubiza, Lusu, Sikanjabuka and Muyako as well as from the villages of Kapani, Maunga, Malengalenga and Liashulu on the southern side, reportedly met at Mafwe capital at Chinchimani on March 13 2005 to air their grievances about letters they have allegedly received from Mayeyi and Mashi tribal authorities that they are no longer Mafwe subjects.

The group is scheduled to travel to Windhoek today to hand their petition to Namibian President Sam Nujoma before the latter officially steps down on March 21 2005.

“As if the tribal conflict simmering between the Oukwanyama and Ondonga traditional authorities is not enough, this country is confronted with yet another tribal conflict in the volatile Caprivi. Given the timing of these rather strange conflicts what or who is behind these disputes? This could become a problem for the incoming Pohamba administration”, said NSHR Chief Media Liaison Officer Dorkas Nangolo-Phillemon.

NSHR is calling upon the Caprivi traditional authorities to resolve their differences amicably and without resorting to any violent acts.

Note: For additional enquiries, please call Dorkas Nangolo-Phillemon or Phil ya Nangoloh at Tel: +264 61 236 183 or +264 61 253 447 (office hours) or Mobiles: +264 811 297 533 (Dorkas) or +264 811 299 886 (Phil) or E-mail: or


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

First Name
Last Name