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Tribalism is like Coronavirus in the Zambezi region

Dear Editor,

Allow me to respond to a letter that was written to His Royal Highness/Fumu Erwin Mbambo Munika of the Hambukushu Traditional Authority with the subject: “TRIBAL BORDERS THAT EXISTED BEFORE THE COLONIAL AND AFTER INDEPENDENCE MUST BE RESPECTED AND HONORED WITH ALL COST”

Personally Speaking with Mr.Bornwell Kwibisa Mutelo

Our prince should know that before he writes any document should take or conduct a research otherwise he will write something which will fight against himself in the future.

The content reads as follows:

  1. The Masubia Traditional Authority informs your Royal Highness that in due course of the time they will be transferring some of their subjects from flooded areas into the highland of western Caprivi which belongs to them.
  2. Our tribal borders that existed before independence should be respected at all cost, regardless of the new political constituencies created by the government for the purposes of easy administration of different respective areas.
  3. We hope that you are well aware of the fact that the Masubia shares border with you at Andara and since then there are many tribes who have accumulated a map for reference purposes.
  4. Maybe you are well aware that in 1903 we had only very few tribes which comprises of Masubia, Mayeyi, Matotela and further to that you find the Hambukushu and Koe but today you could hear many small tribes contesting for land which they did not know who fought for it.
  5. Therefore, you should remember that in the year 1450 the Masubia and Hambukushu chiefs were attached by the magician King Mwambinyi at Katima Mulilo, a clear testimony that the were only two well known chiefs in the line of our history.
  6. If you look at Caprivi today we have new developments that have created traditional authorities at Linyanti, Mayeyi and Mafwe as a result of political changes in the region.
  7. Thus the demography has increased enormously and has made the land becoming small, leaving us with no option other than going back to our ancestral land. We therefore advice you that the Masubia Tribal Authority will transfer some of its people from flood areas to highland in the western Caprivi and you should not be surprised to hear that the is a new sub-chief who will administering that part of the western Caprivi on behalf of Munintenge Liswani.
  8. That is why we were surprised to learn that you are giving land without the knowledge of Munintenge Liswani of Basubia in western Caprivi, who is sharing common tribal boundaries with you.
  9. The poster which is at Bwabwata will be transferred to Andara, the border between Caprivi and Kavango. We hope that this proposal will not dismantle the relationship of the Ambukushu of Libebe and the Masubia of Liswani.

The Bafwe speaking community is hereby pouring more and more congratulations and thanking you for opening our eyes. We never knew that we have a land dispute with Masubia.

We thought you are coming to us as friends yet you have a hidden agenda! Western Caprivi is for the Bafwe speaking community not for anyone, for your information and we are not going to allow any from your side to acquire any piece of land in our communal land in the Mashi area of jurisdiction apart from those whose grand-parents and parents were born in the Mashi area or they originated from the area long ago, we know them very well.

We are just waiting for the implementation of the boundaries between the four traditional authorities. “We cannot accommodate them for now because we are shocked to learn from your letter dated 24 June 2008. Before you do something you have to look at positive and negative part of it”

The Bafwe speaking community is not prepared to fight for land with any tribe. We do not want to disturb the government’s programmes. We are not ready for a land dispute while we are still fighting against coronavirus pandemic. Our understanding in nature is to work hand in hand with all traditional authorities in the region and the country at large.

We believe in one region, one nation for peace, harmony and stability. We don’t support private relationship between two traditional authorities but we support all. It was the Bafwe who were supposed to write the above letter because we know how to solve this problem with our neighbours the Hambukushu in particular because we understand and talk their language very well or sit down with them and compromise as we all originate from Mashi area of Zambia and we never fought for land with the Hambukushu, we are just friendly and share boundaries.

We strongly condemn those who use to come to His Royal Highness Honourable Chief Joseph Tembwe Mayuni for private discussion related to land. According to land reform act, act 5 of 2002 states that the land is owned by the State, the chief is only a custodian.

The chief cannot give land by showing he has to follow procedures. An applicant should start with the village Induna who should consider the person and refer to the district headman (Silalo Induna) who will give the consent letter to the chief or traditional authority up to the ministry for approval by the land board, it is crystal clear if found working on land saying the chief gave me this land you will be chased out for not following this procedure and a person cannot be allowed.

Even those who insulted the Mafwe they want to visit our chief forgetting that when you insult the Bafwe, you have insulted their chief. The honourable chief Mayuni never invited anyone; he is not a play field. We will never allow anyone to make a shortcut to the palace unless you see the office of the Ngambela. If you give him money privately, let that money to be his prize for visiting him because the communal land cannot be sold and bought according to the above act.

We do not want you to lose your money for private transaction. We wonder some of the tribes are regarding themselves as the largest and important tribes, all tribes are equal before the court of law, no tribe in Namibia is less important, there is no chief higher than others, there is no paramount chief in the Zambezi, they are all equal before the court of law. We don’t want interferences in the Bafwe area of jurisdiction.

According to our culture and tradition, a government official should first see the traditional authority before talking to the chief. We should not be little or undermine other communities otherwise we are not going to move together. We understand and respect the saying of the late honourable Chief Joshua Mutwa Moraliswani who said, “Inkanda kailitwikwa, hauilitwikwa kaikulemene’ It is very true, “Don’t carry the country over your head, you might feel its heaviness alone”.

All of us we should pull in the same direction for peace and stability in the region. The Bafwe speaking community never fought in order to grab other people’s land. Since the creation of this world, the almighty God has allocated them land without harm. We repeat, we need good working relationship between all traditional authorities without discriminating one that is our line of thinking.

Look at Katima Mulilo Town Council, starting from the mayor down to the working class are all Subias, do you tell us that all tribes in the region are very dull and they cannot perform well on their duties!

Tribalism will only hamper our developments in the region, God never made one tribe to dominate others, why can’t we put all forms of discrimination aside and open a new chapter?

Let us respect one another for common good and transparence in totality. We will be very happy if one day sees our four chiefs eat together and share some important issues that can build Namibia and the region, tribalism and coronavirus match together to destroy the minds of the nation. Our president comrade Hage G. Geingob is preaching the nation to be in one house but we can’t take his message to be our tool to fight tribalism.

You become very strong in tribalism, one day you will fuel tribalism even in your own family and your wife. Come to Mashi area you will find lot of Masubia teachers and even the at Kongola Constituency Office they are all Subia community members but we don’t complain that much.

Comrades you claim to work hand in hand with Hambukushu but you can hardly understand Thimbukushu language. If you were together with the Mayeyi and Hambukushu at Goha you were supposed to understand all languages especially the Yeyi and Mbukushu languages. That is Bantu Gotatwe in reality.

The Bafwe speaking group is excluded to Bantu Gotatwe because we never lived together as Bantu Gotatwe, one of the good days we will invite you at the Tulikonge Cultural Festival to come and observe our culture and tradition.

Thank you very much, the Bafwe have no grudge with anyone or any tribe in Namibia, we are a humble tribe and very peaceful community, let us respect our government and all honourable chiefs regardless who is who in Namibia because there is a proverb which says; “Mukunyi nambula Ňomba kuutuka ni kuyuwita” which laterally means that a community without a leader cannot live in harmony.

May the almighty God bless you.

Echi Bashela Bantuli Bacibwene

Did you hear any Mufwe speaking person fighting for Kasikili Island? The Bafwe are very far from the island, if war could erupt between you and Batswana we could only support you materially because we have no interest in Kasikili. How can Kenya fight for land in Namibia omitting Zambia or how can Kenya jump over Zambia and work together with Namibia and vice-versa? Be in good terms with the Linyanti before the Mashi because you share the boundary with them.

The day we are going to learn that you are in good terms with your neighbour we will also receive you warm fully. That is to bring working relationship well and live in harmony.

Mr.Bornwell Kwibisa Mutelo

Katima Mulilo

Comments and Opinions expressed in this article are not those of the Caprivi Vision Newspaper , but are for the author…

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