Windhoek-The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Doreen Sioka has come out all guns blazing in accusing people who call themselves Caprivians or Zambezians of being advocates for the secession of Zambezi Region.
Sioka, who spoke in the National Assembly on Tuesday, said people from Zambezi are not Caprivians or Zambezians as some people usually refer to themselves, or as other people also refer to people who were born or raised in Zambezi.
She said they are Namibians and anyone calling themselves Caprivians or Zambezians supports secessionism.
“The call us Caprivians or Zambezians. We are Namibians. We have one identity. Those people advocating that – it’s maybe those who are supporting and want to secede Zambezi as a country to make it Caprivian. Namibian borders are fixed, they don’t move. Boundaries of regions move. For example, Mukwe or Kavango is divided into two,” she said when she diverted from her statement on the motion on child marriages and harmful practices that promote them.
Sioka also cautioned that the younger generations should be careful not to get entangled in such secession plans.
“I hear that even people in the newspapers call themselves Zambezians because they are trying to avoid the term ‘Caprivians’. They are not Caprivians or Zambezians, they are Namibians. As I indicated, regions move, you change. But even if you go to Europe, you will not be known as Caprivian, but as a Namibian. That is your identity, even our IDs [identification documents] are written Namibian, not Caprivian. Even a place of birth, they will say that you were born in Oshakati or Kunene, but you can’t be called Oshakatian. Is that normal? Even that pronouncement doesn’t sound normal.”
Sioka further warned that people from Zambezi should not be undermined, saying they too fought for Namibia’s liberation struggle.
“I want to warn, we also fought for this country. We shouldn’t be excluded. Even the Moroccans must know we fought for this country.”
In response to the support and solidarity shown by the Namibian government towards the people of Western Sahara in their quest to gain independence, Morocco has reportedly threatened to institute an investigation over Namibia’s apparent domination of what was once known as the Caprivi Strip.
Namibia has on many occasions vowed it would not tire nor rest in its quest to see Morocco – which was recently re-admitted into the African Union (AU) – give up its continued occupation of Western Sahara.
President Hage Geingob is the latest high-profile Namibian leader to speak out in support of the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, following similar demands by National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi and International Relations Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Speaking during the 5th Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba, Geingob in June this year revealed that Morocco was reportedly planning to pass a motion to investigate Namibia over its alleged domination of the ‘Caprivi Strip’, as Morocco apparently believes that Zambezi Region is an independent country.
Geingob said Morocco’s plans come in response to Namibia’s continued determination and commitment to ensure Western Sahara gains full independence.
Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975 and has since resisted all efforts by the Saharawi people to regain the right to self-determination and independence.
“We can’t forget our comrades. We can’t forget the Saharawi people. Apparently, Morocco is passing a motion. They claim we have problems in Caprivi (Zambezi). They say they will go investigate Caprivi, because we are vocal [on the issue of Western Sahara]. It’s a new attempt by Morocco [to stop us]. We’re not going to stop,” Geingob told over 170 delegates, including Cuban representatives.