The pro-secessionist Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG) yesterday handed a petition to the Zambezi regional governor’s office urging the government to have dialogue with them and discuss issues regarding the “freedom of Caprivi”.
Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu, who is in Windhoek on an official mission, yesterday said he had received a copy of the group’s petition and that he would study it and respond.
The group also demand the release of the rest of the “political prisoners” who are still in custody – in reference to those jailed for the botched secessionist uprising on August 2, 1999.
The group, which is affiliated to the banned United Democratic Party (UDP) and its exiled leader Mishake Muyongo, chanted Caprivi freedom songs as they marched to the governor’s office.
“The UDP recognises Namibia, former South West Africa, as a sovereign state, and therefore it is willing and ready to enter into a political dialogue with the Namibian political leadership,” read their petition.
In the petition the group narrates a long history of what they believe transpired back in the past when the Caprivi Strip and South West Africa were two separate territories. The group strongly believes that before the merger between Swapo and Canu in 1968, the Caprivi Strip and Namibia were not one nation.
“In 1968 on November 5, a significant political merger agreement was signed between the South West Africa People’s Organisation (Swapo) and Caprivi National Union (Canu) to fight a common enemy the South African regime that was illegally occupying the two countries, South West Africa and the Caprivi Strip in particular, where it was agreed that at independence the Caprivians will be asked if they want to be independent or be part of Namibia,” further reads the petition.
They further want a referendum to be conducted to resolve the issue once and for all.
“With a clear consciousness, with all strength, with weaknesses for lies and death before heaven and earth we hereby demand: A. Political dialogue between the government of Namibia and the leadership of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and unconditional release of all Caprivi political prisoners. B. A referendum for Caprivians to democratically decide whether they wish to be independent or continue with Namibia as Namibians,” read the petition.
The petition was received on behalf of Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu by his special advisor, Ignatius Nkunga, who promised to forward it to the relevant authorities.
CCG’s demands are not new as it is not a secret that the group has been advocating for so-called ‘Caprivi freedom’. In April last year as published in New Era, a video was leaked in which some of its leaders uttered insults against national leaders, including the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, and former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, among others.
In the video the youthful members had consulted a sangoma to help them soften the hearts of the national leaders to heed their secessionist ambitions.