Beware of secessionist agenda driving demos

Dear Editor,

IT is unfortunate that former Caprivi secessionist elements camouflaging under the Zambezi Development Association (ZDA), Namibian Anti-BDF Terrorism Protest Group, and the SWAPO SPYL, are using the tragic loss of four lives in the Nchindo family on November 5, in a shooting incident by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), to promote their secessionist subversive agenda against the Namibian government.

What is more sad, is that sane, peace loving Namibians who ought to know better, given the government’s proactive response, are hoodwinked by these lawless and retrogressive forces who insist on endless demonstrations and ultimatums to government.

It is a well-known fact that some of these elements never publicly denounced their ill-fated secessionist ambitions since being kicked out from the Dukwe refugee camp and forced back to Namibia. In this regard, Namibians are still waiting to hear these elements apologising for the 14 innocent lives lost due to their ill-fated secessionist armed attack of August 2, 1999, through the so-called Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA), a tribal ragtag pseudo-military outfit, on government employees and buildings in Katima Mulilo.

This was a colossal misnomer in pursuit of low-level African power hunger politics of Mishake Muyongo, the former DTA leader and of the United Democratic Party (UDP), after he lost the DTA leadership to Katuutire Kaura. Many of the secessionists were from the Mafwe tribe and were genuinely misled by Mishake Muyongo, a very shrewd, aging politician who dabbled in the same Jonas Savimbi-type destructive politics of tribal manipulation and demagoguery. Both Muyongo and Boniface Mamili -the former Mafwe chief- were granted asylum in a self-imposed exile in Denmark. It is equally unfortunate that most of those whose lives were destroyed by the incident were not the masterminds but innocent people caught up in the demagoguery peddled by Muyongo.

Of late, there is a resurgence of the Muyongo demagoguery, and it will not be surprising if in advanced old age, he still pulls strings from Denmark to incite remnants to use the Nchindo deaths as a pretext to reignite their lost cause of Zambezi secessionism. In 2018, five members of the Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG) were arrested at the Liselo village, for conspiracy to conduct subversive activities. They were demanding for government dialogue with the banned UDP on the ‘freedom of Caprivi’.

At the time, Zambezi Regional Police Commissioner Karel Theron said: “These guys are trying to destabilise peace in the region. You cannot be having many meetings, today you want to demonstrate, and then you want to hold a press conference. Their followers must think twice –they must reconcile with their conscience that Zambezi Region will remain part of Namibia until the end of the world.”

Following the news of the Nchindo shootings, President Geingob, immediately called his Botswana counterpart, President Mokgweetsi Masisi, to register Namibia’s strong displeasure. In turn, President Masisi also deeply regretted the incident and conveyed his profound condolences to the family. The two presidents then agreed to a joint investigation commission to probe the case. The team consisting of high-level experts from police, defence and diplomatic services immediately started their work. Meanwhile, President Geingob, together with top Government officials met the bereaved family at State House, where fruitful and compassionate interactions took place. Afterwards, Government provided assistance to the bereaved family ranging from psychosocial counselling to caskets and material support. Additionally, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba personally went to the Zambezi to convey the President’s consolation and support, not only to the family but also to the people of the Zambezi region.

It is said that since 1990, 38 innocent people were killed by the BDF in the same manner. If that is the case, then credit should be accorded to Geingob, as the first Namibian President to have escalated the matter to the highest executive level, through direct discussions with the Botswana President. Truth be told, both President Geingob and President Masisi should be applauded for the mature manner in which they have approached this matter, contrary to the backward advice from those elements that are senselessly advocating for the escalation of hostilities towards a lose-lose situation for every one. Both presidents expressed and demonstrated their strong commitment to resolve this matter speedily and peacefully.

Therefore, against this body of demonstrable evidence of empathy, commitment and hard work, it puzzles the mind when the SWAPO Party SPYL in the Zambezi region starts demanding an apology from Alfredo Hengari, the Presidential spokesperson, without following the party internal channels to the SWAPO party president, who as the State President is their boss and of Hengari. Does this brazen irregular stance of the SWAPO SPYL Zambezi region outside the party channels mean that some in the SPYL were swayed by the unthinking secessionist elements? Equally, and more worryingly is that the so-called ZDA is summoning the President in the media to go to Zambezi and receive a petition from them in the presence of chiefs. Who do these political wannabes think they are, and who do they think the President is? Stop using other people’s misery to seek political and Facebook fame, better go into the political arena and conduct your own campaigns that Namibians can chose you as ruling parties and presidents.

Alfons Muchete