The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Muyongo Sticks to Caprivi Independence

Exiled former Swapo and DTA politician Mishake Muyongo is only willing to talk to the Namibian Government about the secession of Caprivi from Namibia.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nahas Angula was quoted as saying the State would only enter into dialogue with Muyongo if he publicly denounced any plans or attempts to secede the Caprivi Region from Namibia.

"That is wishful thinking. What else does the Namibian Government want to discuss with me? On many occasions I made it clear that we are prepared to talk to anybody on the peaceful attainment of independence of Caprivi," Muyongo told The Namibian from Denmark, where he and Chief Boniface Mamili are living in exile.

According to Muyongo the Namibian Government has to initiate such talks under the auspices of the United Nations, which he said is being kept informed about all developments regarding Caprivi.

"Already in 1963 the Caprivi National Union (Canu) sent a petition to the UN asking for the independence of Caprivi. Going back in history I am convinced that Caprivi was and is still not part of Namibia. It was part of Barotse Land, only bordering Namibia. So we don't want to secede from any country."

Muyongo is a former member of Swapo and the DTA of Namibia. He was a member of Namibia's first Parliament after independence and took part in discussions prior to the adoption of the Constitution.

The exiled politician emphasised that a peaceful solution for Caprivi is possible, adding that he is prepared to talk about it in any country except in Namibia and Zimbabwe.

According to Muyongo, the Namibian Government is acting in the same way as the former colonisers, oppressing the inhabitants of Caprivi.

The secretary of information of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Caprivi, Chrispin Mutorwa, has called on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab, to put the Caprivi issue on the agenda for debate in Parliament.

"Many lives, especially for those in prison, are at stake. They are fathers, sons, brothers, and family men whose lives were curtailed and directly have impacted their families. The Caprivi Strip case is a political case that needs a round table political solution. Use democratic means at your disposal to solve the issue once and for all," Mutorwa said on the Caprivi Freedom website.

This month a group calling themselves 'Concerned Caprivians' held a meeting at Katima Mulilo at which they demanded political dialogue between President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Muyongo. They further demanded the unconditional release of all Caprivi treason trial accused and the holding of a referendum on the political status of the region.

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