Allow me to comment on a video footage of Mr.Alex Kamwi, the president of Caprivi African National Union (CANU), titled “Kamwi speaks out” of September 4, 2013, published on The Caprivi Vision website:http://www.caprivivision.com/kamwi-speaks-out/ which indeed carries with an inspiring message to all Caprivians.
The president of CANU had eloquently addressed a lot of concerns that are destroying the Caprivi region. It is for every Caprivian to take heed of his advice, otherwise soon we will be a buried and forgotten people.
Surely, no one can re-duplicate the rich history of the Caprivi Strip. Ours is a unique history filled with moments of joy and sadness as an integral part of Namibia, whose story-line we all known from 1890.
Unfortunately, Caprivians have been made to divide themselves over tribal lines by political “hyenas” from other parts of the country that enjoy seeing inhabitants of the region fighting amongst themselves.
When Caprivians turn against each other, no one would speak for them in realising their independence dreams – better housing, good infrastructure, job creation and more. Many inhabitants of the region are still living the same way as they did before independence if not worse.
For example, before independence we had fewer squatter camps; the Caprivi General Hospital had a better capacity to deal with cases within – not having people sent somewhere for basic health care – only in complicated cases; schools were competitive with academic excellence, but now have become the laughing stock of the nation.
Interestingly, twenty years of independence, inhabitants of Eastern Caprivi are year-in and year-out hit by floods that displaces thousands of people – hampering normal lives and educational activities to go on, but not much has been done to resolve the problem. Then, our Chiefs were seen as regional leaders, but now have to “crawl” before some politicians to be given a certificate of chieftainship.
Worse, Caprivi was a region that had its regional boundaries respected, as it stretched from Impalila to Bagani, but today we’re denied of that piece of land as a people. Is that fair? Our political and community leaders had asked for the restoration of earlier regional boundaries, but were ignored.
Is this what it has all become?
Are those not some of the very things that apartheid South African used to warn us about, that “they will come and take your land”; “they will dilute and undermine your traditional institutions,”and many more incidents manifesting themselves after Namibian independence. By then, we called it propaganda, was it really?
Our own forefathers, before they met SWAPO, had sacrificed their lives to liberate us from the yoke of colonialism, where we were treated like second class citizens – denied our rights as a people and suppressed in all ways.
Is this not history repeating itself? Are we not politically frustrated as a people? Is this what we hoped for, that better days were coming?
Today, from a magician’s hat-trick, we have been given a new collective identity and have our region re-named to something else – despite clear opposition from our learnt sons and daughters of the area.
What has the name got to do with bringing food and development to the region? Will the imposed name Zambezi bring political tranquility over the region? Or will it surely distort our history as a people, so will our future generations have to ask what went wrong – why were we quite over such political abuse perpetuated by non-inhabitants of the Caprivi Strip?
Should Caprivians be fooled in accepting all such made-up stories of colonial claims, when we know that Caprivi in itself was traded to German South West Africa/Namibia by the very colonisers we pretend to despise? If colonialism was that bad, why not address all its ills, as was the forceful incorporation of the Caprivi Strip to German South West Africa/Namibia?
As hinted by the president of CANU, it’s high time that the ruling party SWAPO respect conditions that necessitated the merger between the two liberation movements. The attitude being demonstrated by some “comrades” within SWAPO is quite belittling of all those Caprivians that stood-up to fight for their freedoms.
SWAPO cannot run away from the merger that was signed by the two liberation movements. Caprivians had shed blood for the freedoms that we the sons and daughters of the land should be enjoying, but are suffocated today.
It is on that note that I call upon all Caprivians to stand tall and play their role as equals in an independent Namibia by preserving their collective identity and land – not being sellouts against their own people.
Certainly, a time has come when Caprivians should have a voice in the Namibian government that safeguards their regional interest. Having place-holders from the Caprivi region in the top echelons of power is not a solution, but Caprivians need individuals that can speak for the region – not the ones playing an active role in undermining its people, Caprivians.
Overall, Caprivians need many more men like CANU president Alex Kamwi that can speak for the region without fear, but serving the collective interest of Caprivians in an independent Namibia.