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Long Open Letter to His Excellency President Mokqwaetsi Masisi
|April 17, 2018
| Long Open Letter to His Excellency President Mokqwaetsi Masisi
From Caprivians in Exile in Botswana
President Masisi “Namibians in Dukwe Refugee Camp now illegal immigrants”
Namibian New Era of the 9th April 2018
It is true as many others say” Ten days in office for His Excellency President Mokqwaeetsi Masisi, launches a blood shell on Caprivian refugees in his Country during his purposeful official visit to Namibia to meet his counterpart His Excellency President Geingob”.
OUR WELL WISHES FOR YOUR ESCALATION TO THE HIGH OFFICE OF PRESIDENCY
Kindly accept our sincere congratulations for your ascension to the high office of Presidency; it is fundamentally true that every position of authority is God given. We would like to wish you all the best as you discharge your daily duties to serve your people.
REFUGEES OR NOT REFUGEES, WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS AND THEN CAPRIVIANS.
We did not plan that we should be called refugees, neither did we choose voluntarily when we were running into Botswana around 1998 to 2000; we were just running with our lives in bare hands because the political situation was not warranting for all of us to stay in the Caprivi Strip which is forcefully occupied by Namibia.
It is an open secret that we were given political asylum with our Leaders, Mr. Mishake Muyongo, His Highness Chief Bebi Mamili, three Councilors the Late John Mabuku, the late Francis Sizimbo and Mr. Walubita and many others. It was this very Republic of Botswana under the former President Mr. Festus Mogae. It is true that the first group that came were carrying arms of war which were handed to the Botswana authority.
Thereafter masses crossed into Botswana, all the people who crossed into Botswana were interviewed by the authority and were registered as members of the Political Party none other than United Democratic Party (UDP)
In our first meeting in 1999 when we met the then Home affairs Minister Mr. Jerry Ikandjo We indicated categorically clear that we want a solution to our problem so that we can return home earlier and peacefully.
Mr. President, refugee life is hard and truly speaking no one can choose for it without a cause, we are now left with only 4 months to complete 20 years in Botswana as refugees. This is against our will as we never intended to be refugees.
It is fundamentally true that we were granted Political Asylum and later changed to Refugee status; reasons for the difference of the two and for change are best known by this Republic.
Mr. President, a beggar is not a chooser, you gave us without force, but by situation that you saw that we deserved it. Now you feel we don’t deserve it you have the authority as given by God first and later by the people to do as you wish. Currently as you did already; God bless you.
When you take your status from us we shall remain human beings first, as created by God in his very image then Caprivians who deserve to live like any human beings. It is true that though you are a President, you are still a human being created in the image of God.
Your Excellency, since our arrival in this Republic we have tried our best to behave ourselves as possible as we can, for sure like any human body that cannot be without even a pimple so is every community; and those who are found on the wrong side of the law were dealt with according to the law requirement without favor.
Mr. President, we regret to learn that while you were visiting Namibia and you set to chat with your Colleague President Geingob we realized that the trip was mainly about us, you spoke against us as if we have committed a crime in your Country.
Many times we have reiterated that we want to go home peacefully, we don’t deserve to be bundled in your trucks for deportation as you suggest treating us. We have a problem that we told you, which is also well known by President Geingob.
Now that we are no longer Refugees, we have become illegal immigrants in the Republic of Botswana, now Botswana want to do or done something that should have done 1998, you legalized our stay in this Country for 20 years, now you are changing saying we deserve to be deported; I think we must have committed a crime that makes you angry against us like that, not because Namibia is Friendly to you.
Mr. President, we noted that there existed a Tripartite Commission where Namibia, Botswana and UNHCR were the facilitators with regard to the Caprivian Refugees in Botswana; we are glad to note that it is no longer exist because it was biased and irrelevant as it could not come up to the solution in our Case. Our issue is a political case, a treasonous issue according to Namibia; therefore the involvement of UNHCR was quite irrelevant and misappropriation of responsibilities.
BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA
Mr. President, it is in the eyes of every beholder and every hearer that the bilateral relation between Namibia and Botswana is now centered on us Caprivians, we are now the victims or spoils of all differences between two Countries; the source of bilateral strength. We feel and we can see that we are sold and exchanged by the Walvis Bay Port, the Trans Kalahari High way, the Kasikili/Seduddu Iland.
It is sad for our Leaders, sad for SADC, sad for Africa and sad for people like us who remained in the Colony of a black person. Colonization for white people is maybe better than for the black oppressor if this is how we treat each other.
CAPRIVIANS IN EXILE ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THE UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY (UDP)
Mr. President as mentioned earlier on, though we do not practice politics in the Refugee Camp and in Botswana soil; we belong to a political party mentioned above. We are a law abiding Community so we keep the standard you want us to keep.
This is so, but when asked we say that we belong to a political party that demands justice and Freedom for the entire Caprivians. This is a fact, last time we said, recognition or not does not make someone lose who he is. As said earlier on, we registered in your files as members of the banned Political Party UDP, banned in 2006 while we were in Dukwi Refugee Camp in Botswana.
GO AND SEE COME AND TELL
Mr. President, you are aware that your Government convinced us to undertake a risk trip to Namibia on the 28 June 2015 under the UNHCR program of GO AND SEE COME AND TELL MISSION, the purpose of the visit was to assess the political situation so that we can have an informed decision before we decide to voluntarily return. The trip was scheduled to last on the 7th August 2015, but it was abruptly cancelled by the order from His Excellency Dr. Geingob on the account that we are UDP people who believe that Caprivi is illegally occupied by Namibia.
It is true that there were armed Security Forces in the Governors Chamber that morningon the 1st of August2015 when we were just given two (2) hrs to be out side Caprivi and indeed that is how it happened.
Your Excellency, I think you learnt something during your conversation with President Geingob, he warned that those who have Political agendas are not welcome to Namibia, I have no doubt that he meant us UDP people in Botswana.
His Excellency President Geingob said it openly that when we are deported to Namibia we are going to be prosecuted and charged with treason upon our arrival. Mr. President it is true that we are unrepented Caprivians as Dr. Geingob said, who are determined to seek the permanent solution for the Caprivi Political problem.
THE CURRENT POSITION OF THE CAPRIVIAN PEOPLE IN DUKWI IN BOTSWANA.
A message to His Excellency President Masisi, His Excellency Dr. Geingob
We put it to you that as leaders you have the capacity to resolve the Caprivi issue politically in a peaceful way. We put it you that we believe in resolving political problems peacefully as peaceful people. We also trust that you know that dialogue to disputes is the necessary tool than shutting up people, divide, oppress and rule them.
Your Excellencies, the Caprivi issue shall not be resolved by deporting us, putting us in prisons, threats of any kind, torture or even killing us all in exile. God who gave you the authority, the same God who created us and you will do what is right between us and you, because to God we are all his children despite the authority you have. Many Caprivians lost their lives both in SWAPO exile and also in this exile; be reminded again that we have this far lost more than 400 people buried in Dukwi alone, not counting those who were buried in mass graves in the Caprivi Strip. How many more do you still want to see dead?
It is true that you want us to be holding arms, fighting every day, innocent people and children dying like what is happening in other Counties; is when you could believe that we are serious. 20 years that we have been asking for a dialogue or for Namibia to prove her political strength in Caprivi through a referendum; but instead, President Geingob enjoys to rule Caprivians with the barrel of gun, Caprivians live under political cage since the time they were forced to be Namibians.
We are determined never to procrastinate this struggle to the next generation. It is do or die now and never tomorrow.
This is what we are going to do, in fact we were suppose to be holding arms and fight as you wish, where we could lose our lives, and it is true that is how many people died fighting for their Countries;
1. WE ARE READY FOR DEPORTATION DAY AND NIGHT
2. READY TO DIE IN THE HANDS OF THE SECURITY FORCES WHO WILL BE DEPORTING US AND BE BURRIED WHERE MORE THAN 400 COMRADES ARE BURIED
3. IF A MAGIC HAPPENS THAT WE FIND OURSELVES IN NAMIBIA, WE ARE GOING TO DIE THERE, AND WE PREFER THAT OUR COPSES BE BROUGHT BACK IN DUKWI SO THAT WE ARE BURRIED WHERE OUR COMRADES IN THE STRUGGLE ARE BURRIED. WE ARE NOT BETRAYERS OF OUR COLLEGUES. (An injury to one an injury to all).
I thank you Mr. President
This is written in agreement with all Caprivians in Dukwi in Botswana
Signed by: Felix Kakula
Attached at the bottom are some copies we would like to share with relevant authorities
1. Act 1999 of the Namibian Parliament to annex Caprivi to Namibia without consulting Caprivians.
2. One of the letters handed to Botswana and Namibia asking them to solve the Caprivi issue.
CC under c/off: Botswana Centre for Human Rights (Ditshwanelo) and Namibia Human Rights (Namrights)
CC: 1. His Excellency President Dr. HAGE GODFREY GEINGOB
2. His Excellency the United Nation Secretary General (UN) Mr. ANTONIO GUTERRES
3. His Excellency Chairperson for African Union (AU) Mr.Moussa Faki Mahamat
4. Her Excellency Executive Secretary for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
Dr. LAWRENCE TAX
5 UNHCR –Botswana and Namibia
6 American Embassy – Botswana and Namibia
7 British Embassy – Botswana and Namibia
8 Canadian Embassy- Botswana and Namibia
Below CC under C/off Botswana Council of Churches
9. Chairperson: African Council of Churches (ACC)
10. World Council of Churches
REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA
REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA
WINDHOEK 12 July 1999 No. 2139
No. 117 Promulgation of Application of Laws to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Act,1 (Act 10 of 1999), of the Parliament .............................. ..........
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
No. 117 1999
PROMULGATION OF ACT OF PARLIAMENT
The following Act which has been passed by the Parliament and signed by the President in terms of the Namibian Constitution is hereby published in terms of Article 56 of that Constitution.
No. 10 of 1999: Application of Laws to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Act, 1999.
To provide for the application of certain laws to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel the operation of which was excluded by virtue of the provision of certain pre~independent laws.
(Signed by the President on 24 June' 1999)
WHEREAS section 38(5) of the South-West Africa Constitution Act, 1968 (Act No. 39 of 1968) provided that no Act of the Parliament of (the Republic of South Africa and no Ordinance of the Legislative Assembly of the then Territory of South/West Africa passed on or after (the first day of November 1951 would apply in that part of the said Territory that was demarcated and known as the Eastern) Caprivi Zipfel, unless it was expressly declared so to apply;
AND WHEREAS, not withstanding the repeal of that section by Article 147 of the Namibian Constitution, that provision presently still has effect by virtue of section 11(2) of the Interpretation Proclamation, 1920 (Proclamation No. 37 of 1920);
AND WHEREAS it is considered necessary to empower Ministers to extend to the said Eastern Caprivi Zipfel the operation of laws which by virtue of the South-West Africa Constitution Act, 1968, presently do not apply in that part of Namibia;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia, as follows:
Power to declare laws applicable to (the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel
1. (1) A Minister responsible for any Ministry in which any law is administered which is not applicable, by virtue of the provisions of section 38(5) of the South-West Africa Constitution Act, 1968 (Act No. 39 of 1968) as repealed by Article 147 of the Namibian Constitution, in that part of Namibia which was known as the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel, may by notice in the Cfazntfe declare such law to be applicable also in the said Eastern Caprivi Zipfel, with effect from a date specified in Such notice,
(2) A notice referred to in subsection (1) may prescribe such measures or conditions as the Minister may regard necessary to provide for the smooth application in the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel of a law declared applicable in terms of that subsection in such notice.
Short title and commencement
2, This Act shall be called the Application of Laws to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Act, 1999.
NAMIBIAN/CAPRIVIAN COMMUNITY IN EXILE IN BOTSWANA
MEETING WITH NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA
07 APRIL 2014
DUKWI REFUGEE CAMP
REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
THEME: “ Dialogue” the Ultimate Solution for the Caprivi case.
DELEGATES: Botswana Government:
1. Honorable Minister of Defense Justice and Security Mr. Dikgakgamatso Ramadeluka Seretse
2. Honorable Secretary Ministry of Defense Justice and Security Mr.Augastine Makgonatsothe
3. Director Ministry of Defense Justice and Security Mr. Ross Sanoto
4. Camp Authority, Security services and more other respected delegates
2. Namibian Government:
1.Honorable Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Madam. Pendukeni Iivula -Ithana
2. Ms. Nancy Muinyo- PA to the Minister
3. Honorable Permanent Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration
Mr. Amb Patrick Nandango
4. Honorable Commissioner Nkruma Mushelenga, Mr.Jason
Absalom, Ms.Francina Mulumbulwa
5. More other respected delegates
3. UNHCR Representatives
Respected delegates, we consider it a privilege to meet two highly respected representatives of the two Governments, Namibia and Botswana, and UNHCR on this particular day 7th April 2014.
First, and foremost, we would like to pass our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the humble leadership and Citizens of this Country Botswana for having protected us, we continue to appreciate for shelter, health and education provided to us for the past 15 years that we have stayed in this peaceful Country.
Since our arrival in this Country, we have witnessed too much pressure exerted on Botswana Government from their counterpart Namibia, demanding our forceful return, status revoked, and strictness on conditions of tripartite agreement barring out any new ideas that could resolve the problem. Citing issues of mutual relationship and bilateral agreements between two Countries; but amidst all those, Botswana has shown their integrity in respecting international convention to which they are a signatory.
And been a Country guided by the principle of BOTHO, they have never yielded to compromise the unique principles that makes them what they are; we really salute them.
Honorable delegates, The Case for Caprivi calls for politicians/leadership guided by principles of democracy, BOTHO, tolerance and political will. The conflict between Caprivi and Namibia has deep roots and the history is very bitter. We hereby submit that, the Namibian Government alone is able to solve the Caprivi issue without the involvement of any state, NGO’S or individuals from any quarters, but instead chose to ignore the problem, and to continue preaching out that Namibia is peaceful yet behind the walls, Caprivians are been murdered in cold blood.
The leadership of Namibia, has never denied the following points:
1. That there was a merger signed by Mr. Sam Nujoma and Mr. Mishake Muyongo on the 5th November 1964 in Zambia, in the autobiography book for Mr. Sam Nujoma it is clearly stated, Mr. Hidino Hishongwa admitted in the previous meeting on the 28thNovember 2011 in this same community hall” saying yes I am aware of the merger” The Current President Mr. Lukas Pohamba said if Muyongo is still having the merger then he is lucky, ours got burnt with our office in Lusaka, Zambia.
2. Namibia enacted the law by repealing Act 1968 (Act 39 of 1968 as a basis to make any Namibian laws applicable in Caprivi Strip; simply to mean that from immemorial to the time of drafting the Namibian constitution 1989 up to 1999 when they realized that Caprivi is administered unconstitutionally, and by then Caprivians were already in exile, The Namibian Government decided to enact and pass laws to apply to Caprivi without consulting the Caprivian people, it's on those grounds we say the Act is void and offensive in all forms.
3. Namibians does not deny the fact that we only met in Zambia in 1964, for the first time, and that we do not have any in common with the rest of Namibia, geographically, historically, culturally, and linguistically.
Distinguished quests, Caprivians suffered badly in the hands of SWAPO Government, both in exile and after Namibia’s independence. Mass graves have been discovered in Caprivi emanating from the same problem which is sought today to be resolved by voluntary and forced repatriation. As we speak our brothers and our Fathers are languishing in the Namibian prisons for 15 years now, while others were sentenced 32 years and above for having asked the Government of Namibia about the 1964 merger. Many of them are disabled and other sustained permanent injuries as a result of torture, people are in exile scattered in different countries like broadcasted seeds, because of Caprivi.
Allow us to mention that many Caprivians went missing without trace. Who did all these evil things on the Caprivian people? Is it not the very Government which is in front of us lobbying for our return to their butcher place?
The Namibian Government decided not to resolve the Caprivi issue peacefully, because they are void of peace. On the 28th November 2011 we made our position clear, no need to argue, to struggle on the durable solution, or to sour the enjoyed health mutual relationship between two Countries, but the solution is very near (as the mouth to nose), in fact it is in the hands of the Namibian Government to employ it. Unfortunately, their mission is to tell the world that Namibia is a paradise, how on earth one could run from paradise to a refugee Camp? Who in fact enjoys refugee life, with all its misery? All our sufferings deprivation, we cast on the Namibian Government.
Honorable members, the present Government of Namibia continually turn their ears and close their eyes to so many calls requesting them, to accept a dialogue that shall lead to a durable solution on the matter. How and why do you go to your neighbor and negotiate the return of people who ran from you, accusing you of been cruel to them, and you do not want to seat and listen to them, discuss so that you can solve the problem? Instead you go secretly to your neighbor and demand the return of them, why do you want to create disagreement with your neighbor over nothing.
We hereby reiterate our message, and call for your government for peaceful talks with the UDP leadership; we are UDP people. We are a peace loving people ready to settle the Caprivi Issue in a manner that is accepted by the international norms.
Honorable delegates, we are quite aware, and we have witnessed all the campaign strategies employed by the Namibian Government on the Caprivi, they have gone out on the rampage to campaign for solidarity, both from the International community, AU (African Union) and much intensity in SADC, that the Caprivi issue is not in existence, it is a few lawlessness individuals who do not want to abide to the laws of the Country, this is clearly demonstrated by the charge administered to those still in prison who are charged with treason, sedition, robbery up to 278 charges.
They continuously advocate for abolishment of hosting refugees who run from Neighboring states, them (Namibia), shall not be hosting SADC refugees says Nkruma Mushelenga in the Namibian sun dated 25 March 2014. Titled: Namibian at Dukwe to lose refugee status: He also said we quote “It is not good for Countries to host citizen from Neighboring Countries as refugees, SADC member states share a great deal of mutual ties which all the Countries are signatory too”.
If SADC Countries agrees on that, then it shall be seen that it intends to turn their Countries to be slaughtering zones of their own subject why because, some leaders in SADC are undemocratic and are not ready to resolve problems peacefully. It will be difficult for people to run for their lives because the neighboring state shall be bound and never to protect or hide a refugee running for his or her life.
The issues of seeking refuge is God's design it never started by human beings READ Numbers 35:32, it says “ And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest”.
It is our belief that SADC shall not adopt the idea championed by the Namibian Government but rather employ the correct remedy as enshrined in the SADC Protocol on Politics Defense and security.
Article 2 where Botswana and Namibia are signatories;
2. (e) Prevent, Contain and resolve inter-and intra-state conflict by peaceful means
In Cognizance also of Article 11 among others (Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution)
Obligation of the organ under International law
1(.c) the organ shall seek to Manage and Resolve inter-and intra-state Conflict by peaceful means.
2. Jurisdiction of the Organ
a) The Organ may seek to resolve any significant inter-state Conflict between state parties And non state party and’ significant inter-state conflict shall include:
3 A Conflict which threatens peace and Security in the region or in the territory of a state party which is not a party to the conflict
6. A Conflict which threatens peace and Security in the region or in the territory of another state party.
a) The methods employed by the Organ to prevent, Manage and Resolve conflict by peaceful means shall include Preventive diplomacy, negotiation, conciliations, good office, arbitration and adjudication by international tribunal."
This is the correct approach to be considered to our case, not as Honorable Nkruma Mushelenga want to suggest to SADC as quoted from above mentioned newspaper.
We are looking forward to the two honorable ministers here present to carry our issue within their mandate on SADC level for discussion to reach the possible solution to the problem.
Honorable delegates, all parties to the United Nations has in hand guiding principles as to how to determine WHO is the refugee? And HOW to handle a refugee?
The 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees read on Article 33 with the subtitle
Prohibition of expulsion or return (“refoulement”)
Quote “1. No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any
manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom
would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership
of a particular social group or political opinion. "
It is on this ground that we request the Minister from Namibia to assure us that the members of UDP at home are allowed and protected by law to exercise their political rights as UDP members without any threat, BECAUSE AS WE SPEAK OUR PARTY UDP IS BANNED (BURRIED BY THE GOVERNMENT. On the same note we request Botswana Government not to take us by force to Namibia where our lives are in danger and rights trampled on due to our political opinion.
Dear delegates, we hope Botswana shall not contradict her policy on the matter of who the genuine refugee is? Someone crossing many boarders, and a person who seek protection, refugee and help to the next door?
We praise Botswana on this well thought policy, May the good Lord continue to give wisdom and more blessings to the leadership of this Country.
We are opposed to the statement made by Mr. Nkruma Mushelenga in the Government news paper dated 19 September 2013, we quote “they are willing to come back home (referring to us) but there are circumstances that makes some not want to come back home, he said, some are being threatened or discouraged to do so by those having a quilt conscious over what they may have done in Namibia before they left, Honorable Mushelenga said, some have also committed crimes in Namibia and are afraid that if others decide to return, they would no longer enjoy legitimate refugee status as is presently the case".
We hereby affirm that, voluntary repatriation is an international instrument that facilitates the willing refugee to return to country of origin, and that no one has the right to stop, to coerce through any means one’s decision, if there could be such cases, the police could have been involved because it is a serious offence.
We would like to submit to the respected authorities here present, that we are not prevented or instigated by Botswana Government not to opt for voluntary repatriation, by the way, we are to confirm the usual claim made by honorable Nkruma Mushelenga that, our life is hard citing restriction of movements, meager basic resources on our part, not allowed to work, this has been a campaigning tool for him to our fellow families at home so that they may pity us, and urge us to return home.
Distinguished delegates the saying is true that a beggar is not a chooser, and every country has policies, we are prepared and shall continue to abide to the regulations of our host Country, and we would like to affirm that despite all those challenges on our way, we shall never rest; we are determined to seek and find a durable solution to our case.
Honorable delegates, on the same note, we are not surprised by actions of some Caprivians in the Namibian Regime, like in the previous apartheid Regime, there were individual members who worked tirelessly against their fellow South West Africa (SWAPO), been used as tools to try to hinder the then progressive SWAPO Movement from achieving independence, though the facts were very clear as of UDP today.
CONCLUSION: Honorable Ministers of two respected Governments, Highly respected UNHCR officials, all distinguished representatives; you are a witness today as we close our submission with following durable solution to our Case;
i. Caprivi Issue is a political Case and therefore demands a political solution.
ii. In the presence of Botswana Government and UNHCR, we request the Namibian Government to consider an immediate dialogue with UDP leadership headed by honorable President Albert Mishake Muyongo following this meeting.
iii. For our free and quick return to Caprivi we demand for the total freedom.
iv. We demand that Caprivians be granted their right to associate and pursue their political belief.
v. We demand for a referendum organized by the United Nations
vi. We request Botswana Government, to be patient with us, as our case is currently receiving attention by the UN decolonization Committee as per this document we submit now, which was presented by the leading Namibian Human Rights Organization (NamRights) Director Mr. Phil Ya Nangoloh.
We call for all peace loving individuals, NGO’S, SADC member states, AU and UN to urge the Namibian Government to consider a peaceful dialogue to resolve the long- standing Caprivi political crisis.
WE THANK YOU.
CAPRIVIANS IN EXILE.
CC: SADC Secretariat Gaborone
African Union ChairPerson
Source: United Democratic Party (UDP)
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