By Simon Liseli
A GROUP of organized concerned Caprivians under the armpit of the Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG), staged a peaceful demonstration on the streets of Katima Mulilo with chanting songs and banners of the “independent Caprivi Strip”, while handing over a petition to Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu’s Special Advisor Ignatius Nkunga calling on political solution over the Caprivi political dispute.
The petition, which was addressed to the Namibian President Dr. Hage Geingob, narrates for the political dialogue between the government of Namibia and the leadership of the United Democratic Party (UDP), the unconditional release of all Caprivi political prisoners and a referendum for Caprivians to democratically decide whether they wish to be independent or to continue with Namibia as Namibians.
Mr. Harris Mpangala who read the petition on behalf of CCG and demonstrators alluded the fact that the territory demarcated known as German-South West Africa in 1884-1885 did not constitute the territory currently known as the Caprivi Strip, the Strip was only made by a German sphere of influence by virtue of the Anglo-German Treaty of 1890 which did not confer territorial rights of any legal nature to German SWA over the Strip.
According to the court ruling of 1908 in Windhoek District High Court indicated that German law has no validity in the Caprivi as those who were arrested and charged for criminal offences committed in the strip could not be convicted by the honorable court for the same reason that German laws had no validity in the Caprivi Strip.
The petition also stressed that German was stripped of its colonial possession as stated in the treaty of Versailles of 1919. In 1920 SWA now Namibia was placed under the mandate of the league of nation while the Strip remained under South Africa as a separate entity.
“Be aware that in 1972 Caprivi had its own Legislative Council, National Anthem, Emblem, and its Flag. We also know that certain laws specific to SWA and subsequently Namibia were not applicable to Caprivi Strip until an annexation law application to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Act, Act 10 of 1999 was promulgated on June 24, 1999 extending laws of Namibia to the Strip without consent of Caprivian population” quoted from the petition.
The diehard Caprivian, Mr. Mpangala in his petition mentioned some of the Caprivian true leaders such as Mr. Brendan Kangongolo Simbwaye who mysteriously died in the hands of the South African forces, Mr. Albert Mishake Muyongo who is currently exiled in Denmark on political asylum, Induna Chatambula Masida who was tortured and roasted over an open fire while his subjects observing by South African forces, Mr. Judea Lyabboloma whose corpse was displayed in his village for public viewing and as a warning after being killed and many other Caprivian PLAN fighters who then liberated SWA/Namibia.
The Petition also recalls on human rights violation committed by the Namibian government on Caprivians which included mass arbitrary arrests, execution, torture, prolonged detention without trial as admitted in 1999 by the then Minister of Defence Erkki Nghimtina saying Namibia made some mistakes regarding human rights abuses.
Namrights Executive Director’s confession Mr. Phil ya Nangolo of September 13, 2010 stated that, “Having been myself a junior PLAN officer in the reconnaissance detachment between 1974 and 1975 I know that atrocities such as torture, execution and enforced disappearances have been committed amongst Caprivi African National Union (CANU) followers” stated Phil ya Nangolo in his confession of September 2010.
The petition further narrated that in 1963 Caprivians under the leadership of Brendan Simbwaye and moral support of the then two traditional leaders of the masubia and mafwe tribes formed a national political party CANU with the objective of seeing Caprivi Strip free and independent. However, in the same year two traditional leaders in Caprivi Strip petitioned the United Nations (UN) demanding freedom and independence of Caprivi Strip.
“On 5 November 1964 a significant political merger agreement was signed between SWAPO and CANU to fight a common enemy which was then South Africa regime which was allegedly occupying the two countries and upon agreement it was agreed that at independence Caprivians will be asked if they want to be independent or be part of Namibia.”
The Petition was received by Mr. Nkunga, Special Advisor to Governor Sampofu who was out of the country for other official duties, and he therefore advised the demonstrators that the petition will be handed over to the relevant authorities for any decision.