By Simon Liseli
ZAMBEZI Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu, has lashed out on the Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG)’s claims that they were denied to conduct their public meeting in Ngweze Community Hall that was booked on June 11, 2017.
The group claims that the regional governor sent an official from his office to tell the police not to allow a public meeting by CCG because they are not allowed to use any government premises even if they have a proof of payment.
According to the group when they arrived at the gate of the hall they found two police officers who demanded to see the receipt from Katima Mulilo Town Council that mandate them to use the hall, they produced it but to their surprise after producing the receipt they were told not to get inside the hall because they are not allowed to use it and were warned not to temper entering it as this will be of own risk.
In an exclusive face to face interview, Governor Sampofu said he was very much aware of CCG’s public meeting since he was informed by the regional police commander, Commissioner Karel Theron that CCG requested a permission to hold their public meeting in Ngweze Community Hall.
He said, their request was forwarded to the police headquarter in Windhoek where they were denied such permission, “The community hall, I want to state this very clearly’ Caprivi Concerned Group they are calling for secessionist to secede Zambezi region from the rest of Namibia and they cannot be afforded government assets which they are fighting against to be used to further their aspirations, government assets cannot be used that is totally ‘no’.” He stressed.
Asked whether the CCG were allowed to conduct the public meeting, “Yes they are allowed as long they inform the police” answered the governor.
He added saying he has been calling the group for peace and still calling them for peace, “The CCG what they are doing is to stabilize peace in this region, calling for secessionist is like calling for the war we know what happened in 1998 we do not want that situation to repeat itself again we want peace and stability” he remarked.
Zambezi governor Sampofu said that where there’s war they are no developments and has related the situation to tribalism. “The consequences of war is that people will be left in poverty and they might even leave the place or the country of origin, I have been in Eritrea and Ethiopia when they were fighting as a UN soldier, I have been also to Chad and Central African Republic I have seen what war can cause, people are being disengaged from their places and these people could not do anything only waiting for food from UN and red cross” stressed the governor.
He clearly stated that Zambezi region is part of Namibia and its part of Namibia. He therefore called on the Namibian refugees in Dukwi to come back home because they are free to come back home.
He said repatriation is on-going only that they are some other people in Dukwi who call themselves as indunas are the one who doesn’t want others to return back home but, “People are coming like this year we have received almost eleven people though they are coming two or three just like that even last month we received two people” he said.
He mentioned that there are more than 900 people still left in Dukwi and those who have been repatriated are more than 2000since 2001 and no one has been arrested.
He appealed to people who have their families in Dukwi to talk to them to return back to their motherland, “There’s peace here and whenever they come we provide them with building materials such as zincs and poles to build their houses immediately the day they arrive and then the government is ready they are to be integrated to the community, their land is here it’s not taken by anybody and no one will be arrested” concluded governor Sampofu.
However, Secretary General of the Caprivi Concerned Group Mr. Edwin Samati broke the silence at the public hearing conducted by the Namibia’s Ombudsman Adv.John Walters last month in Katima Mulilo that his organization with its members and the general public were denied their right by the Namibian police to conduct their public meeting in Ngweze Community Hall after paying for the facility to the Katima Mulilo Town Council and after the Katima Mulilo police station were notified of the meeting two weeks before the event, after its approval in Windhoek by the Inspector General of The Namibian Police Lieutenant Sebastian Haitota Ndeitunga permitted them with some conditions that were attached to their approval letter.
“Surprisingly on the day of the event when we brought our equipment to the hall we found two armed police officers instead of security guards who we always found there, they demanded us to show them proof of payment from the council that allows us to get inside the hall, we produced the receipt and they started calling their supervisors, seniors up to the regional commander and our equipment were just on the gate even after producing the proof” noted Mr. Samati.
On behalf of the Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG) during the Ombudsman’s public hearing on June 27, Mr. Samati pointed out few things that CCG is facing in the region specifically on discrimination and tribalism.
According to him, discrimination is when a person is denied or deprived of his rights and opportunities for whatever reason.
He told Adv. Walters that Police Regional Commissioner came later and informed them that he will not allow them to use any government facility. CCG members asked for the reason why they were not allowed to use the hall but there were no valid reasons and were warned that if they temper to get inside the hall forcibly they will face consequences. They then decided to conduct their meeting outside the hall.