logo

CAPRIVI CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE

Historical memoir of the Caprivi Strip - legal and political perspective

Overview

The history of the Caprivi Strip is interesting, as a result it has attracted many researchers and historians to contribute knowledge to the history of the territory making it reach and model it as a progressive history. It is important to acknowledge that in recent times many Caprivians have also stepped up in writing the history of the Caprivi themselves. However, the facts still remain critical because each historian pursue the direction of his/her thyme of history depending on where the informants come from. This does not mean that the history of the Caprivi Strip is not embedded in the citizens of the Strip. The history of the Caprivi is simple, straightforward and too good for people to believe.
The topic of this inscription is named historical memoir of the Caprivi Strip from legal and political perspective because many people ignore the reasons for contributing to the history of the country. In this article, history is regarded as a legal account in which the country remains known for years.

Behind the story of the Caprivi Strip history, is the reality of the past events of the territory. Writing the history of an entity like the Caprivi Strip is not rewinding the clock but revisiting the past records of what transpired in the past. The standing history of the Caprivi remains the emblematic realization of the territory’s evolutionary past events.  It provides the roadmap where the people of the territory came from, and off cause what transpired thereafter to date. Precisely, our history has always remained greater than our current social issues and differences. Caprivians are known for being resilient and they resisted all strenuously challenges. Our history, culture, tradition and tribal formation make us who we are as a people since from our first generation.  Interesting about the Caprivi Strip history, is that it offers significant realization of who we are as people. Real history is more demanding and challenging than simply knowing what happened or recall facts of the past.
Since time immemorial, the Caprivi Strip imaged from pre-colonial and colonial but still stuck in the 21 century colonial annexation.  History recorded that all past colonial powers of the territory relentlessly attempted to link it to its neighboring countries, but despite the attempts, the territory could not fit well with any of these countries including the recently forceful annexation of the Strip by the Namibian government. For those who care, the history of the Caprivi is concerning to many of its citizens depending on their views, or social identity of the person. As rational citizen of the territory, like many, I also believe that it is imperative for all Caprivian to contribute facts to our history to make it reach with real, true, balanced diversities of the records including the current developments. People must understand that behind the history of every country is its population, politics, economy and social life of the people. Writing this memoir was not reinventing, criticizing or correcting what others have written but look back to what history of the territory holds for its citizens.

In presenting the historical memoir of the Strip, it is essential to classify the Caprivi history into categories for clarity.  This will also makes it fundamental and suffice to categorize it into four categories following; pre-colonial era, colonial, postcolonial and more significant, the recent events and political activities in the Caprivi Strip. There is no speculation about the history of the Caprivi because it has only one source where Caprivi and its people can track their pedigrees.

1. Pre-colonial era of the Caprivi Strip

The pre-colonial history of the Caprivi dates back from time immemorial before history was recorded around sixteen centuries. What is interesting with the pre-colonial history of the Caprivi Strip as mentioned earlier on is that, it has only one source to be traced and that is from Bulozi or Barotseland. However, it is important to acknowledge that there are other people who were denied from Botswana. Majority of Caprivians are progenies of the Lozi people. This makes people to believe that every journey that begins, ends somewhere. It is prudent to emphasise the fact that Caprivi and its people during pre-colonial period, they were part of the Lozi Kingdom even during the British colonial protectorate.

As mentioned above, pre-colonial phase of the Caprivi history can be simply viewed in three phases as was reiterated by the researcher and academician Lilemba in his book; The Mafwe Journey from Lozi Kingdom, (2017):

  1. The first phase – Lozi kingdom – under Mboo Muyunda
  2. Kololo rule - under Sibitwane - from 1823 to 1851,
  3. Second Lozi Kingdom – under Sipopa – 1864 and died in 1876,

It is important to learn from this summary that in all the phases that the Lozies experienced from one kingdom to the other, the Caprivi Strip also changed with changes. During the rebellion against Kololo kingdom under Sibitwane, the people of the Caprivi were also part of the rebellion that overthrew the Kololo rule to return to the Lozi Kingdom. History records that in 1878, Mwanawina ruled the Caprivi as part of Bulozi until 1909 marking the end of the Lozi kingdom direct rule of the Caprivi territory. However, it is utilitarian to emphasise that the rule of the Lozi Kingdom continued in the Caprivi through chiefs as representative of the Kingdom. Bulozi and Caprivi as a people experienced the white rule in 1909 officially. The pre-colonial history of the Caprivi tells the story of the Lozi and Kololo kingdoms as mentioned above. The distinctive life style, culture and languages (dialects) of the people of the Caprivi is still that of the Lozi people in Barotseland. There was also a close ties and intermarriage between Caprivians and neighbouring Botswana mainly people across the border close to each other.

The history of the Caprivi cannot be animated because of its uniqueness. Thus far, no historian found information that contradict the current history of the Caprivi. Furthermore, no historian has ever linked the pre-colonial history of Caprivi and its people to other neighbouring countries for example Namibia or Angola. Many historians and a known researcher Dr Lilemba also associated the name Linyandi with Caprivi during Sibitwane’s time. He emphasised that Sibitwane made his capital at a place known as Sangwali after being ousted from his kingship. In addition, he also linked the name “Linyandi” with Sikeletu and Livingstone to have lived in Linyandi, and that his capital location was Sangwali. However, it should also be recognised and recorded that Dr Kangumu’s history gives a different testimony that Caprivi was once known as Itenge. The two names Linyandi and Itenge linked to the Caprivi Strip remains an issue. Other historians, noted that in the 19th century Sibitwane the Kololo chief before he died, he settled at Linyandi then now Caprivi Strip as his capital (Sangwali today), this emphasise the reality of the account. The confusion may be the result of two different people staying far from each other or ignorance of not knowing that there were other people living on the other far end of the territory. We all need to come to terms with this situation and live with it.
The name Eastern Caprivi Zipfel [Caprivi Strip] is glamorously symbolic as a result it made both names “Itenge and Linyandi” more interesting to explain the origins of the two names and what it stands for. The people of the Caprivi should understand the technicalities involved where people living on the other side had no knowledge of what was happening on the other side. The name Itenge is associated with Masubia speaking and Linyandi is linked to Mafwe speaking people.
The history of the Caprivi records and all people of the Caprivi holds the view that the first inhabitants of the Caprivi Strip where the Barakwena [the San people], followed by the Mashi; apparently the Mbukushu, Mafwe, Matotela, Mayeyi, Masubia and lastly the Lozi speaking people who recently settled along the Zambezi river from Zambia. Asking about San who are the first people in the Caprivi makes reference to the (San) people who used the Strip for hunting and gathering in the early 16th century. The early history of the Caprivi when reconciled with the present history all together agree that the first people were the Sun people followed by the Mashi people.

In all the successions and changes of the Barotseland rules then, the Caprivi Strip allegiances to the Lozi kingdom and continued to date. It is important to note that people of the Caprivi were not just part of the kingdom but were the Lozi themselves. After the death of Sibitwane his son Sikeletu succeeded him and later died in 1863, making the Kololo rule to cease completely. Sipopa was overthrown in 1878 by Liwanika as Litunga of the Lozi kingdom which was interesting. History notes that the Kololo kingdom in Bulozi did not last longer but returned back to its authentic Lozi Kingdom.  It is important to understand that during the period of pre-colonial era, there were no treaties made between the administrations despite the changes in kingdoms. Mentioning the issue of Bulozi kingdom makes us understand where we are coming from and track our root which is part of our history.

As far back as the sixteenth-century the area now known as the Caprivi was under the Lozi Kingdom and administered as such. In around 1725 when King Ngombala came to power he divided Bulozi Kingdom into administrative areas. In Caprivi, he sent an administrator by the name of Linyandi, where the area derived its name. This situation continued until 1830 when the Makololo of Sibitwani conquered the Bulozi. Sibitwani settled and died in Linyandi as alluded in the aforementioned paragraph. The Caprivi Zipfel [Strip] was founded by the Lozi people since time immemorial and the situation remained the same to the end of pre-colonial era thereafter, opening the door to colonial dispensation.  In 1885 to 1909, Mwanawina ruled Caprivi as an integral part of Bulozi to the time when the First German resident Commissioner (Kurt Streit Wolf) arrived in the Caprivi. It is known that Caprivians started realising the presence of the British 1890 making it more significant to the Caprivi.

2. Colonial era

The history of the Caprivi Strip is odd no matter the revelations of what it was called before colonisation. The colonial powers in the Caprivi Strip relentlessly attempted to link the Caprivi to its neighbouring countries but in all instances the Caprivi Strip could not fit well with any of such countries including South West Africa (Namibia). This was done by way of Act of parliament, treaty and territory administration making it part to the main land but all short lived. The Caprivi Strip is one of the African States that was geographical divided by the colonial powers during the scramble for Africa. In fact, this was long back forecast as having the potential to cause tensions among many African countries as recently seen for example tension between Namibia and Caprivi, and Zambia with Barotseland. Colonisation of the Caprivi Strip was the realisation of human civilisation leading to freedom and independence. Colonisation was never meant to stay for life. Caprivi Strip people had independence in mind, which is still the case.

Towards the end of the nineteenth-century European powers divided the African countries among themselves. This is what was referred to as the Scramble for Africa. The Berlin Conference of December 1884 to January 1885, most of Southern Africa fell under the British Sphere of influence. In 1887 Bulozi including the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel became a British Protectorate during the Kingship of Lubosi Lewanika. What is strange about the history of the Caprivi is that, people accept the history but fail to recognise the facts of the same history. The arrival of the first German by the name of Hoptman Streit Wolf in Linyandi in 1890 suppressed the name Linyandi/Itenge when he named the strip in honour of the German Chancellor Leo Count Von Caprivi. The name was made popular because he used it in all official correspondence suppressing the name Linyandi its original name.  It is not surprising because colonisers had the power to do whatever they wanted using their powers.

In 1890 the British colonial power occupying the Caprivi Strip signed an agreement with the Germans in which they were exchanging the Caprivi Strip to the Germans in exchange for Zanzibar in Heligoland. The purpose for this exchange was simple that the Germans only wanted an area through which they could have access to the Zambezi River; apparently the Germans thought the Zambezi could connect them to their East-African territory of Tanganyika from South West Africa
This saw the birth of the present name Caprivi. After realising that it did not save the purpose, it was immediately abandoned. The Heligoland treaty never meant to annex the Caprivi Strip to the German South West Africa [GSWA] or make it part of GSWA because the reasons for the German to request for the Caprivi was clearly for the purpose of having access corridor to the East African Island of Tanganyika (Zanzibar). All records about the Caprivi Strip are factual with no ambiguity.

In 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War, the British Military took over the Caprivi Strip from the Germans. For almost 6 years the Caprivi was under the British Military rule. In 1920 the Caprivi was given to the Union of South Africa as a mandated territory. From 1921 to 1929 the British administered the Caprivi through Bechuanaland Protectorate. It should be clear however, though, that this does not mean that the Caprivi was part of Bechuanaland now Botswana. The issue to note is that even after the administration of the Caprivi was transferred to South West Africa, Caprivians continued to pay tax to Botswana at Kasane and Mauni while in Zambia at Sisheke and Mwandi. The arrangement of colonisation was never meant to be permanent but for strategic purposes for their convenience.

Clearly, in 1939 after it was suggested by the Union government that the Caprivi be made part of South West Africa (now Namibia) the administration of South West Africa wrote a letter and three reasons were started as the cause for their concern and rejection, firstly, that the geographical position of the Caprivi was impossible for the area to be made part of South West Africa, secondly that the distance from Windhoek to Caprivi was too long and lastly that the Caprivi was too remote.

The above reasons as far as we are concerned still hold water to this day. The geographical position, the distance from Windhoek and the remoteness of the Caprivi still remains the same. After this letter of rejection, the Caprivi Strip was administered directly from Pretoria, South Africa as a result. This situation continued up to Namibia independence 1990. Our understanding is that the Namibian Government never wrote a letter to terminates or revoke the letter that was written by its’ successor government or the South West African government either did not reverse their decision to withdraws the letter. Moreover, and worse than before, the Strip is still remote and least developed per se among regions of Namibia in terms of resource sharing confirming the reasons for its rejections.

We should recognise as history directs that, during the South African rule, the Caprivi Strip was happily and effectively split from the rest of South West Africa. From that time the Caprivi was administered by British Bechuanaland Protectorate before being transferred under the South African government directly ruled from Pretoria.  In 1976 the South African administration established the independent Eastern Caprivi homeland with its own flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. The Caprivi Strip remained under direct control of the South African government in Pretoria until 1980, when its administration was transferred under the Administrator General of South West Africa/Namibia temporarily in consideration of the fact that the laws of South West Africa does not apply to Eastern Caprivi Zipfel.

Significant to the Caprivi political and historical milestone is the 1962 action which saw the formation of the African National Union [CANU]. Political commentators mentioned that the idea of forming a political party first started with four Caprivians involving Mr Mishake Muyongo, Mason Liseli Mamili, George Mutwa and Charles Mubuyaeta Mubiana while studying in Mafikeng (South Africa). The idea was well accepted with high endorsement and a political party CANU started in earnest to sale the idea leading to its formation in 1963 with Mr. Brenden K. Simbwae as the first party President, Mishake Muyongo as deputy President and Mr Zakaria Ndopu as Secretary General. Subsequently, the Caprivi African National Union was formed in 1963 and started its operation in the Caprivi. During that time, the Namibian politics or political party was never had heard off in the Caprivi then. The 1964 political uprising of CANU members had absolutely no connection more important no politician inspiration then ever been connected to South Western Africa or politicians from South West Africa ever visited Namibia during that period. To the contrary though, Caprivian politics was hugely influenced by the sweeping political wind that swept across Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Politics and history of the Caprivi from both side of political divide between CANU and SWAPO records an account of the controversial 1964 merger between the two political parties. This merger was evidently signed by two political representatives from their respective political parties and their own countries; Caprivi and Namibia. In this case, Mr Mishake A. Muyongo representing CANU from Caprivi Strip and Mr Samuel S. Nujoma representing SWAPO from South West Africa/Namibia on the 5th November 1964. The merger had conditions among others; to fight the common enemy the then South African regime that illegally occupied the two countries and that at the attainment of independence, the people of the Caprivi to be accorded the opportunity to decide whether to join Namibia or remain independent. CANU and SWAPO merger would never be possible in the absence of the late prominent Lozi cabinet Minister in Kaunda’s government in Zambia Mr Nalumino Mundia who convinced Mr Muyongo and his colleagues to sign the merger after resisting for a long time.

Both the Namibian and the people of the Caprivi Strip should understand that the conditions signed for in the merger are still yet to be realised and it is judicious to say the agreement is still unsatisfied creating a high probability and certainly not for it to be realised. The consequential second exile of Caprivians was a direct result of the failure of the merger because the independence of the Caprivi Strip according to sincere views was imagined in the merger.  Since the independence of Namibia in 1990 Caprivians have been calling and sending messages to the Namibian government reminding them of the need for Caprivian to be asked their views about independence by way of a referendum which is an internationally recognised theoretical framework to be used.
To substantiate more, in all the administration changes of the Caprivi from one administrative master to another it was marked by Acts of parliaments and or treaties.

In the context of this memoir, the changes are classified in different categories following the event and context in which it happened:

  1. The Caprivi colonial sugary history started in the 1885 after the Berlin conference German acquired two African territories the German South West Africa [GSWA) and the German East Africa of Tanganyika and Zanzibar inclusive. In southern Africa many countries fell under the British sphere of influence excluding countries for example Angola, Mozambique and the Islands who are now part of Southern Africa.
  2. The Heligoland –Zanzibar treaty of 1st July 1890 changed the lives of Caprivians and created some major problems that Caprivians are experiencing hitherto made our lives miserable.
  3. After the British and German exchange of the Caprivi and the Island of Zanzibar through the Heligoland –Zanzibar treaty of July 1890, up to the end of 1909 there was no physical presence of the German in the Caprivi at all.
  4. After the First World War in 1914 – the Caprivi Strip was retaken by the British Military rule for the period of around 4 years to the end of 1929 as mentioned earlier on. During the period it was important to understand from this background that before 1910, Great Britain was in control of the Caprivi Strip under the Union Act of 1909. Needless to say, the impasse between the German and Great Britain over the Caprivi was resolved when the Caprivi Strip fell under the Sphere of influence or British sovereignty together with the order of Lewanika from Bulozi (Barotseland) according to the Order in-council of 1890. During that time the British laws were made applicable to Caprivi Strip.

In addition to the reason above, in 1908, the District High court in Windhoek rejected the assertion and ruled that the German laws had no validity in the Caprivi Strip despite the territory being named after the German.

The issue of boundaries of East Caprivi Zipfel or the Strip – a clear and recognised international boundary between Caprivi Strip and Angola was demarcated as per the Heligoland –Zanzibar treaty of July 1890. Reference to this is the boundary that was demarcated after the German settled at Luhonono (latter called Schuckmannsburg) between Zambia and the Caprivi Strip.Following the liberation struggle – the laws of German South West Africa (GSWA) did not apply to the Caprivi Strip at all. In 1909, the Caprivi Strip was under the British Administration through the authority of the Governor General of the Union of South Africa and the British High Commissioner of South Africa.

Interesting to note is the reason behind the mandate, provisions of these Acts and what it represented and interferences they made to South West Africa and the Caprivi. In 1925, South West Africa constitution was given full mandate to function under the provision of the Act 42 of 1925 authorized by the South African Administration (Governor General of the Union of South Africa transferring the Administration to South West Africa). This also included Walvis Bay Port. The distinction, special and interesting about the Act referred above is that it makes no reference to of the Caprivi Strip. However, special interest to this Act is that it categorically spells out section (s) 43(b) of the Act that exclude Caprivi Strip from the Act to justify the separation of the two-separate territories.

The political history of the Caprivi started with chiefs who resisted oppression and colonisation during apartheid era. Ironically, Caprivians themselves were their own architectures of their own politics to the time when their first political party CANU was formed.

In the context of the law of colonisation, treaties were mainly used to make laws to apply to their colonies and pass a resolution. In 1919 the Union Governor –General from South Africa through the treaty of Versailles of June, 1919 (Act 49 of 1919) gave powers to South West Africa to govern Caprivi. Substantial to this, is the fact that during that time Caprivi Strip though it was under the mandate of the Union government (Union Governor –General of South Africa), it remained a separate British Territory under its own Union Act and the section of the above Act (s150 -151) under the legislation order.

Analogous to the Caprivi Strip case of being governed or ruled through other countries was the example of German South West Africa (now Namibia) which was also ruled as part of the Union of South Africa – under the Ad Hoc Mandate Instrument of 1919/1920. It suffices and interesting to note here that we should understand that from 1914 to 1920 Caprivi was independently and separately ruled/governed by Great Britain under what they called martial law as a de facto from Bechuanaland British Protectorate as it was before martial law ended in 1922. This was gazetted to transfer it into a civilian rule of Britain in the same year. Conversely, the arrangement and changes above never affected or applied to South West Africa (now Namibia).
What is clear with the Union of South Africa Parliament was that it enacted the laws related to South West Africa (Namibia) separate from the territory of the Caprivi Strip compared to Walvis Bay Port. In so doing, in 1925 the Union enacted the law for South West Africa (Namibia) laws to apply to Walvis Bay and other settlement to form part of the main land GSWA (Namibia) under the Act 42 of 1925 and went to an extent of saying that Caprivi Strip shall not form part of GSWA.

Other development in the history of the Caprivi Strip through the Union Government of South Africa under the Governor General Proclamation No. 169 of 1929 – temporarily the administration of the Caprivi Strip was partially transferred and placed under GWSA to be governed by the Governor–General, however, the Act did not repeal the Proclamation Act No. 23 of 1922 that made reference to be part of Bechuanaland protectorate but remain in force.

In 1939, the Union of South Africa promulgated the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Administration Proclamation No.147 of 1939 special administration of the Caprivi Strip was transferred from GSWA and the administration was thereafter directly under the administration of the Union minister of Native Affairs. The status quo of the administration of the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel or the Caprivi Strip remained in force despite attempts by the GWSA administration trying to amend the law but failed.

In 1968 after receiving independence status, according to the terms of s39 of 1968 the RSA government reiterated that “may by proclamation make laws for the administration of the territory of Caprivi Strip with the understanding to bring it to independence and further to make laws for the administration of the port and settlement of Walvis Bay. However, this could not work because section 38 (5) of Act 39 of 1951 say, “No Act of parliament and no ordinance of the Assembly passed or after the first day of November, 1951, shall not apply in the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel unless it is expressly declared so to apply”.
Adjacently, both the Namibian government and the people of the Caprivi should understand that in all cases, when making laws the colonists made reference to South West Africa and the Caprivi Strip to show the distinction between two separate territories. In 1968, right to self-determination for South West Africa – Namibia had no reference to Caprivi Strip at all but specific to SWA by the government of the RSA.

In 1964 CANU members lead by Mishake Muyongo crossed to Zambia after a crush with the South African security forces in the same evening. Many Caprivians followed shortly after that. CANU had the support of all people from all corners of the Caprivi. The situation of going in exile remained following CANU leadership to the end of 1960 when the status changed and the name of SWAPO started gaining momentum in the Caprivi after the merger that was signed in 1964 that changed OPO to SWAPO. In the early 1980s leading to the independence of the Namibia, many people from Zambia crossed into the Caprivi Strip to either join their families, friends, intermarriage and looking for green pastures particularly women. This played a significant role in increasing and diversifying the population of the territory.
The odd shape of the Caprivi Strip has made it to be isolated from the rest of the region ever since. In 1972, when South Africa placed the Caprivi Strip under Bantustan life became different but was only disturbed with the challenge of chief minister issue creating division.
In this document and other document nothing suggests or links the Caprivi to Zambezi River. People should understand that Zambezi is not a Lozi name Sifwe, Sisubiya or siyeyi name. The name Zambezi is a borrowed foreign to the people of the Caprivi Strip. We need to get this right. It is time that people should show characters to vision for the reality in life.

3. Post-colonial era

The issue of the Caprivi independence never died in the minds of Caprivians even after the independence of the Caprivi in 1990. Other people in the caprivi had been discussing the issue of independence but the matter was considered sensitive therefore it was going slowly amongst the people.

In 1992, there was a mass demonstration about unfair transfer and backdoor position in education and other ministries that were given based on tribal lines. A commission of enquiry was instituted but the outcome was never made public to date. In 1994, shortly after independence the Namibian parliament passed a law to incorporate Walvis bay Port and other Offshore Island into the mainland through the Act 1994 (Act 1, of 1994) from South Africa to Namibia. If ever, the Caprivi was indeed part of Namibia why it was not incorporated into Namibia at the same time with Walvis Bay and other offshore Islands in 1994.

It is still surprising, why it took Namibia many years after independence to repeal the law to allow the laws of Namibia to apply to Caprivi. This is arguably seen as odd and mendacious thing to do. The 27th October 1998 marked another milestone event in the Caprivi Strip following a number of armed men – Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA) members who crossed into Botswana. This witnessed the exodus of many Caprivians fleeing into Botswana. Significant to this was Mr Mishake Muyongo and Chief B.B. Bebi Mamili who crossed into Botswana on the 29 October 1998.

After the inception of the Namibian government 1990, the intensified tribalism in the Caprivi between two main tribes by applying divide and rule tactics. In an attempt to quell the tension, the Namibian government in 1993, organised to conference for the Caprivians to come together to iron up their differences and make reconciliation. The Katima Mulilo Reconciliation Declaration was signed by two chiefs in the Caprivi Chief Joshua Muraliswani of the Masubia and Chief Boniface Buimo Bebi Mamili of the Mafwe people. It is important for all Caprivians to reflect on the past and learn from this type of arrangements.

After the independence, Namibia was supposed to know better from history that Caprivi Strip was a challenge to colonisers because despite all attempts to link it to its neighbouring countries it failed thereafter posed challenges. In addition to the above fact one would wonder why Namibia inherited the Caprivi challenges that they experienced with Caprivians in exile.

The political history of the Caprivi Strip is not different from other African countries and it was not prone to threat and killings from colonisers. After the arrest of Mr Brenden K. Simbwae and his colleagues, many Caprivians were arrested and some killed by colonisers for example Mr Masida, Lyabboloma, Bebi, Maswahu and many more. This was not the end of killings of Caprivians it continued even with SWAPO that killed Mr Greenwell Matongo and others. We understand that, that was the pinnacles of the SWAPO politics against Caprivians.

The Caprivi Strip struggle is at all times historical as illustrated above. Majority of old Caprivian citizens at one stage of their lives once called for the Caprivi independence.  Both sides of the major tribes in the Caprivi Strip thought there was a need for the Caprivi territory to be on its own. It is important to indicate here that before and after independence, late Mr Earnest Likando was known of his critics and efforts calling for all Caprivians to come together to revive CANU to pursue its initial aims and objectives unfortunately he died before realising his dreams for the independent Caprivi. Between 2009 and 2014 CANU was revived by late Mr Robert Sililo (Secretary General), and Mr Alex M. Kamwi (President) and Mr Late B. Makando Kulobone (Vice President) made serious efforts to pursue what CANU stood for then when it was formed. It is also important to acknowledge people who played a greater role in shaping the history of our Caprivi.

We should not be ignorant of the fact the 21st century colonisation can never be tolerated by any civilized society anywhere in the world. Once again the issue of the Caprivi case with Namibia is on record as forced annexation and is analogous to how Caprivi was illegally colonised by Britain, Germany and the South African apartheid regimes. Needless to mention is the fact that the history of Caprivi Strip and South West Africa / Namibia have nothing in common in terms culture, language, traditional values, customs or habitual norms and more importantly the politics that could not last for a decade after signing a merger.
If Namibia cynically believe Western Sahara deserve independence, what is the difference between the issue of Sahara and that of Barotseland in their neighborhood and more critical the long-time issue in their nerves creating tensions. The pretense and political rhetoric of the Namibian government need to be exposed.

Many Caprivians question the cynicism of the Namibian government for changing the name Caprivi and fail to change other colonial names of other places that bear colonial connections and even their political party. The simplest example is that Namibia is unshakably hanging tightly on the name “SWAPO” though it has colonial bearing but because of the history that is concomitantly linked to the name. The motivation behind changing the name “Caprivi” is credibly known that it was aiming at politically masquerading the history of the Caprivi but fail to recall that, history never die.

All legal minded people believe that any attach to Human Rights issues is a breach and contempt to Global Human Rights International law and Fundamental Bill of Human Rights laws. We need to bring human rights laws home to all Caprivians. The Namibian government should learn to realise that imprisonment is not a solution to the Caprivi case because, it is also bad for the government in the first place, secondly bad for the people in prison and their families and more critical to the community in which the imprisoned come from.
We know that Southern African countries understand Caprivi case but we are being ransomed because African countries fear to open boundary disputes that affect many other countries.

Writing the history of the Caprivi Strip require honesty and a sense of balancing the truth as it is true itself. We should understand now that it is incumbent upon us all particularly the young generation to consider making the new Caprivi not just looking at our history. Deciding what is good for the Caprivi require the consent of everyone making it our own decision. Caprivi require amenable decision made by people themselves who will live in the country for life. The Caprivi self-determination is a test for all Caprivians to see if they can come together and make the dream of the Caprivi freedom and independence a reality. If we don’t deal with our situation today – the situation itself will deal with us more enormously with the generation to come.

We know you are there to be consulted.

The CCC