Muyako residents cry foul

By Risco Lumamezi

TRIBAL clashing on who owns Lake Liambezi, has sparked confusion to the people living in Muyako area, 60 km east of Katima Mulilo .

Chief Maiba Liswani of Masubia and Chief Simasiku Mamili of the Mafwe

A decree stating that Lake Liambezi is for Masubia, Confused the family members of the late Buchane, who claimed to be the owner of the land, and therefore are calling on the government to find an amicable solution to what seems to be a major dispute between the two major tribes in the Caprivi region.

Meanwhile the grand children of the late Buchane call it a family issue, which according to them became sour in 1995 when the family decided to change its jurisdiction from the late Maiba Moraliswani of the Masubia tribe to Chief Boniface Bebi Mamili who ruled the Mafwe Tribal Authority before he went in exile with his cousin Mishake Muyongo. Because of this, they are therefore claiming that it is imperative for the land where they reside to change to its original jurisdiction vested in the Mafwe Tribal Authority.
Lake Liambezi which is in Muyako is an economic asset which has a fertile soil, good for farming crops such as the maize, rice, sugar cane and other various vegetation.

It has now been mooted into confusion for this poor family who feel that their ownership of the land has plunged their life into darkness.
“We broke out of the Masubia in 1995 because we were oppressed and we decided to move to Chinchimane where we pay our tax and honour”, said a grandson of the late Buchane who opted to remain anonymous.
The family has further expressed concerns on how a committee, which spearheaded the matter, was handling the issue. They say that the committee was supposed to bring the people and their tribal khutas together.
Nevertheless, Buchane’s grand children are adamant that the authorities must be aware that Lake Liambezi belongs to them and that they have a constitutional right to decide who should be given a land.
“It is impossible, for some one to tell me that I should give away a cloth I’m wearing,” said the grand son. Before 1964 Muyako was called Kalengwe and was ruled by Induna Mukasa of Sikanjabuka who was later succeeded by Induna Mabakeñi under Chief Mamili of the Mafwe.
The name Muyako originates from a pond surrounding the village, and it means, “We go there” in Subia.
The descendants of Buchane expressed their unhappiness, saying people from Masubia Khuta at Bukalo are causing conflict.
“The time they were told through that decree, they came shouting at us that they won our land,” said a Muyako resident who belongs to Mafwe. “I urge people to respect other people no matter how big or small they are,” said a Buchane family member.
Before they move out of the Masubia’s Chieftainship in 1995, The Buchane‘s family formed a committee of representatives composed of Mr. Brendan Sinvula ,Leonard Sinvula , Vincent Salufu and Michael Sibeso. Last December conflict was caused by people from Kabbe, Lusese and Schuckmansberg who ploughed in the fields of other people at Uyoye without perrmission or consulting the owners according to a Muyako resident.
Muyako is resided by people speaking Subia and Chikuhane.In February two chiefs met at a special meeting held in Katima Mulilo hosted by the Minister of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, John Pandeni who delivered a document signed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba,to the effect that Lake Liambezi belongs to the Masubia tribe. This document was availed to the chiefs of Mafwe and Masubia. However, Chief Kisco Maiba Liswani III said that, the long dispute locked development incentives such as sugar cane plantation and other agricultural schemes.

Sources close to Chief Liswani revealed that irrigational projects to utilize the disputed land of Muyako in particular started long back as this supposed to create jobs to jobless young people. They revealed that the project will soon going to start at Lake Liambezi in Muyako area.
After the allocation of the land, the National Society for Human Rights barked that government intervention to bring three villages which are under the jurisdiction of Chief Mamili to be under Masubia Traditional Authority was the intention to see the establishment of a sugar plantation scheme at Lake Liambezi.
According to the Executive Director of the National Society for Human Rights,Phil ya Nangoloh, the ownership or further strength to utilize the lake is a political motive which under covers some wealthier individuals close to the master mind and who are not from that area claiming the setting up of the plantation.
Though government through its Minister of Information and Broadcasting,Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah during media briefing on Cabinet matters this year has accused NSHR for propagating tribalism in its press releases, as those actions are not to the interest of peace, security and national development of Namibia is enjoying.Asked to shed some lights before going to the press, we were told to write questions before she can comment but all this proved futile as they were postponement of meeting the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah.





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