By Risco Lumamezi
THE United Democratic Party (UDP) supporters in Zambezi region took to the streets of Katima Mulilo on Tuesday, calling the Namibian government to release all Caprivian political prisoners and those held in Botswana with immediate effect.
Reading the petition addressed to Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu in absentia, which was received by Zambezi Regional Council’s Chief Regional Officer, Ms. Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, was Ms.Annett Toyano, UDP Vice-Chairperson who requested the Namibian government to release all remaining Caprivi High Treason prisoners who are currently held in the Namibian prisons, and those held in foreign Botswana prison to be released immediately without any delay.
According to the petition , the Act of Parliament of the South West Africa Constitution Act , 1968 ( Act No.38 & 39 of 1968) prohibited Germany Protectorate of South West Africa (GSWA) which is Namibia today to have access to Caprivi.
“Government ministries and all state presidents from Namibia are illegally in the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel (ECZ) according to the acts, articles and treaties.”
Quoted from the former South African constitution “WHEREAS section 38 (5) of the South-West Africa Constitution Act, 1968 (Act No. 39 of 1968) provided that no Act of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa and no Ordinance of the Legislative Assembly of the then Territory of South-West Africa passed on or after the first day of November 1951 would apply in that part of the said Territory that was demarcated and known as the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel, unless it was expressly declared so to apply;”
“The administrative part was done in Pretoria South Africa and nothing has changed up to date according to our knowledge. This was highlighted in a letter by His Excellency President Nelson Mandela in which he stated that Namibia has made a mistake of arresting Southern Africans who are Caprivians today.”
However, the Namibian Parliament through Article 147 of the Namibian Constitution repealed the South African Constitution which prohibited ministers and laws of Namibia to be applicable in the then Caprivi.
The promulgated Act of parliament called Application of Laws to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Act, 1999 (Act 10 of 1999)became applicable to the then Caprivi Strip now Zambezi region on July 12, 1999.
The petition added that the subject matter was already forwarded to the founding president Dr Sam Nujoma to the second president Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba up to the current Namibian President Dr. Hage Geingob, and several letters were written with instructions to the responsible authorities to address the matters but all to no avail.
The concerned UDP supporters are also calling for referendum as the lasting solution to the longstanding issue of the politics of secession, and they have also called for the transparent referendum supervised by the United Nations.
“Why are our people being killed? In their own land by the foreign military, the Namibian government is dividing our people and reducing our land. The same government has sold our land to Botswana, yet Botswana is killing our innocent people.
After the independence of Namibia, it took almost 3 years for the Namibian government to realise the boundary of Caprivi and Botswana.
Namibia is using bad tactics in Caprivi; they are using our own people to fight against each other”
The petition also revealed that “A 9 year old boy was killed in cold blood by the BDF in 1998 in Caprivi, not to mention that from 1980 to 2021 the BDF claimed about 37 lives that were shot by the same regime without Proof of whether they were poachers or not in the watchful eyes of the so- called NDF.”
It further requested the Namibian authority and its leadership to consider the importance of the subject matter “to positively consider our petition not verbally but in action within a month.”
Ms Toyano further called the exiled UDP leader Mr. Muyongo who is currently in Denmark to come back home “we need Mishake Muyongo to come back home”.