Politics is about making choices and leaders rule at the behest of those that put them to power. I tend to grapple with this school of thought at times because in a democracy the rights of any citizen cannot be bought nor transferred.
All human beings have inalienable rights and as such all people were created equal. If citizens are seen as equals before the law then even political parties that are formed by members of equal citizens should be viewed as equal. But what is going on in SADC and in our country in particular? In general if we put Southern African politics in an operational theatre the outcome becomes traumatic. Ruling parties are seen as landlords who own everything including the people. When the thinking capacity of a country’s citizens is owned by a party in power this gives in to a government by the elite which cares only for the wellbeing of those in power. In a free country the voice comes from below instead of it catching them unawares from the top.
This is the true meaning of democracy.
Coming back to the thorny issue, Caprivi name change makes one disillusioned as to why this idea was masterminded. There are grey areas here that need to be cleared. In my previous article I mentioned that it is mentally unsound to destroy our historical edifices just for sake of political sloganeering. I also mentioned that the history of a nation does not start at independence. From the vulture’s point of view the history of the people who stay in Zambezi today only started few months ago because the name does not relate to a single landscape that existed prior to the renaming of the then Caprivi Strip. Since SWAPO liberated this country, a gallant move worth commending, the elasticity of its political power towards its people in Eastern Caprivi appear un streamlined. It was few years ago when revolutionaries stood against the scramble for Africa but the scramble is here. So it is a name behind the notion of scrambling a territory!
The question remains, why changing the name when we needed Western Caprivi as an economic booster for the strip. At this present moment the name change is being contested although mutely because this move to rename the region is a wishful infringement on the territorial integrity of the Caprivi Strip.There are families, brothers, sisters, parents and grandies in diaspora some of whom are languishing in prisons. Some of them have died in prisons.
All of them alive or dead went there during the Caprivi era and can remain there forgotten during the Zambezi epoch. One reason why the name was changed therefore is to confuse the mindset of the family members of those in prisons and diaspora and make them forget their loved ones.
This is disheartening.
Many questions remain to be answered. Since when has SWAPO started to love the people from Caprivi? Is this not the same Organisation that called Caprivians as foreigners and spies in exile. Is this not the same Organisation that made many of us from Caprivi Strip to desert it on sour political grounds? These same people that deserted SWAPO are denied veteran status today but the Shipangas who up-rised against the Organisation were given veteran status. What criteria were used? Is it not the same organisation that manipulated the grabbing of a big chunk of Western Caprivi from its rightful territorial landmass?
While I write this article I am not unmindful of the people that are crying everyday because of the absence of their loved ones and those that smile everyday because they comfortably think that the absence of a family member is less important. I find the renaming of Caprivi rather tragic and seemingly a bone of contention and down-to- earth paradox. I want the reader to ask himself/herself this question; Was SWAPO right to rename Caprivi based on its negative approach towards Caprivians in exile? Smile or cry its your choice.