By Risco Lumamezi
BOTSWANA Police Service has arrested twelve (12) Caprivian refugees on Tuesday June 19, 2018 in Gaborone after handing over a petition to SADC Secretariat.
A mob of police officers accompanied by an immigration officer arrested 12 elderly Caprivian refugees for leaving Dukwi Camp without permission. This happened before the world refugee day.
This also came after the current head of state of Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi during his state visit to President Hage Geingob in April this year, finally put to an end in ceasing the refugee status of the Namibian refugees in Dukwi as illegal immigrants in that country, with forceful repatriation of the Namibians by July 11, 2018.
Privy sources in Dukwi Refugee Camp confirmed to Caprivi Vision that Mr. Felix Kakula, a Spokesperson of Caprivian Refugees in Dukwi Camp , Mr.Bothman Ntesa,Mr.Nelson Mbeha,Mr.Bernard Mainga,Mr.Raymond Kawana,Ms.Christina Musole,Ms.Mary Chilinda,Mr.Oscar Njubei,Mr.Muhinda Mubuyaeta,Mr.Gideon Mwilima,Mr.Francis Musilizo and Mr.Hoster Songa were arrested by Botswana Police Service after leaving the refugee camp without a permission.
“Our lawyers are busy working on it which means we are going to court again and we are moving on the right direction.” Said a source
The group’s spokesperson Mr. Felix Kakula earlier stated via messenger copied to Caprivi Vision before his arrest that“ Good morning Mr. Mguni, please Sir, we are staging a stay at SADC from today the 18th June until we don’t know. The purpose for the stay at SADC is that we have made many conversations previously seeking the intervention of SADC but to no avail. As a result we have been given up to the 11th July to see ourselves out of this Country through forced repatriation. So we seek peaceful talks initiated or through SADC to convince Namibia to agree to peaceful talks. We are not leaving SADC before intervention or else we are to die one by one until the last person. All Caprivians at Dukwi refugee Camp are engaged in a similar manner. They to gather at UNHCR every day seeking peaceful intervention in our Case. Sir, there is a file we need to give to SADC, we are not giving it in the absence of the media. Be there Sir in the morning before 9:00 am. Be there Sir.”
Official media reports in Botswana reported that the refugees were in Gaborone to petition the SADC Secretariat over to urge government to rescind its ultimatum of forcefully sending them back home.
The Namibian Caprivi Refugees were taken to Molepolole prison, before being taken to Francistown Centre for Illegal immigrants.
However, efforts to hear the current situation of the detained Namibian refugees from the High Commissioner of Botswana in Namibia, Claurinah Tshenolo Modise proved futile. A personal assistant to the ambassador told Caprivi Vision that there’s no interview can be conducted via telephonically with the media as the issue is more sensitive and the set of questions were sent for response on the matter but all to no avail.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the United Democratic Party (UDP) Mr.Dasken Mulisa told Caprivi Vision in an exclusive interview on Monday that the tripartite agreement should be revised to include the UDP.
“The tripartite agreement leading to the deportation of Caprivians should be revised and insert [reading in] a provision that could carter and include the leadership of UDP to come in to have a say… how to come back to Namibia so once they are in Namibia they would be able to exercise their political rights particularly to spearhead with their UDP party within the framework of Namibia to be given the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination” quashed the angry UDP Chairperson who was denied to hold a peaceful demonstration last week Monday June 18 by the Inspector General of the Namibian police Sebastian Ndeitunga with intention to petition the Namibian authority to have constructive talks over the issue of Caprivi.
Mr. Mulisa further asked the Namibian president Hage Geingob to make his discretionary powers to adopt a referendum proposing for a well-organised political dialogue over the long debated issue of the Caprivi Strip.