By Risco Lumamezi
Acting President of the Caprivi African National Union, (CANU) is calling residents of Zambezi region formerly known as Caprivi Strip to unite in finding the political solution.
In an exclusive interview with Caprivi Vision Mr. Baxter Makando Kulobone (53) Vice President of the party who was assigned to lead the party as Interim President after his predecessor Mr. Alex Mabuku Kamwi decided to step down as president after he was re-instated as Vice President of Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association(NNLVA).
Mr.Kamwi who has been on suspension since 2012 when he became president of CANU, he was suspended for violating article 18 of the constitution of the association which forbids its members to lead and belong to other political parties.
He was reinstated as Vice President of Administration for NNLVA with effect January 1, 2015.
Former CANU president Kamwi confirmed that he will not serve as president of CANU anymore due to his work but he promised to be an active member of CANU.
“It was settled in the disciplinary hearing that from a point of convenience I will not serve CANU in the capacity of a President while in the service of Namibia National Liberation Veteran Association though I’m still an active member of CANU Party”. Said Mr. Kamwi
However, Mr.Kulobone said that he will be serving as the president of the party, until when the central committee meeting will be convened to elect the suitable leader to lead the party.
“ We are peace loving people , we will engage all stake holders, present government, the locals, the public and whoever is concerned on this matter, because we want to get the crux of the matter on where do we belong? ” asked Mr. Kulobone
He said that people are still confused on whether, Caprivi belong to Barotseland, Botswana or is regarded as the 13th province of South Africa.
According to him, the call for self-determination and referendum is the only solution to resolve the current political impasse.
“From 1st April 2015 we want to start to engage meetings with the public notifying them that we are not here for bloodshed but we are doing things in a peaceful manner”
CANU president boosted that his party has been mandated by the police authority and the constitution of Namibia to conduct public gatherings. “If CANU merged with SWAPO it is like a man married to a woman , when you divorce you share all what you have , so by now we are not benefiting anything from that, that’s why we decided to revive CANU at least if people agree we need to be part of the government ”
He further added that CANU would continue consulting the public on the matter “we will never allow Caprivi to be called a step child of Namibia, We will criss-cross the Caprivi and the international community to help us”
Meanwhile, in the letter signed by the Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force, Sebastian Ndeitunga mandated them to conduct public meetings and advised them to request authorisations from traditional leaders when visiting their respected khutas.
“Please note that this office does not have the mandate to approve any meetings with traditional leaders as requested.You are informed to request permission to have audience with traditional authorities. From the relevant Traditional leaders in that region”. Noted the Inspector General
Still in the same letter dated November 4, 2014 also gave mandate to CANU to notify the police 3 days before their meeting is held. “You are further informed that your group should comply with requirements under the public gatherings Proclamation AG 23 of 1989 by giving at least 3 days prior notice of any public gatherings/meetings or demonstrations that you intend to have to the office of the police Station Commander nearest to the place where you intend to hold such gathering/meeting or demonstration.”
He also gave them an ultimatum to with hold their permission where it is necessary “This office will then assess any such notices and if necessary place reasonable conditions on such gatherings/meetings or demonstrations, which are in the interest of public safety and security.”
Mr Ndeitunga further warned them that “We further wish to inform you that all public gatherings and demonstrations must be conducted within the parameters of the laws of the Republic of Namibia, including any relevant Municipal by-laws”
Mr Kulobone is a biological son of the late Caprivian hero Judea Lyabboloma Tubakwasa, who was abducted by the South African Police in 1968 at his home village Masada when he was attending a church gathering during the liberation struggle of the then South West Africa Namibia. His father was taken to Pretoria and later was killed; one of his wives was taken to Pretoria who confirmed the death of Mr. Lyabboloma. Mr. Kulobone also told this paper that he has been seeking assistance from the Namibian government to repatriate the remains of his father but all to no avail.
CANU leader, he is a former member of the South West Africa Territorial Force, (SWATF) he joined the Namibian Defence Force in 1990 and later resigned.
He worked as a human rights monitor and defender; he is currently self-employed as a full time farmer.