News and Information

October 21, 2004
Press Releases October 13 2004

Several angry Caprivi residents claimed that they “know very well” the identity of the person the prosecution team in the present Caprivi high treason case describes as “a important witness”. Most of the angry residents are relatives of those are on trial as alleged Caprivi secessionists.

The said ‘witness’ is said to be a 24-year old male from Kupulo village in the Chefuzwe area, some 5 kilometers south of Katima Mulilo, sources said.

“This young man was even among the first group of 92 people to flee to Botswana with arms during October 1998. He was repatriated during 1999 as part of the tripartite agreement between the Botswana and Namibian Governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He is well known to residents in the village as a police informer in the case. He and other informers are currently being kept at Grootfontein Municipality Caravan Park”, said a Kupulo resident speaking on condition of anonymity.

According to media reports, both the prosecution team and the “witness” himself told the High Court that his name should not be publicized because he did not want people from his home area to know about his testimony in the trial.

“Since the witness’s name is apparently so well-known, then it becomes necessary for the State to provide him with protection on a 24-hour basis, for as long as such protection is necessary” said NSHR executive director Phil ya Nangoloh.

Citing reliable sources, NSHR has in the past reported that some of the Botswana returnees were later locked up as alleged secessionists, while police used others as witnesses against alleged secessionists.

“According to our information several State witnesses have become hostile to CID officers, alleging they were being made to sign statements against their kinsmen under duress”, said ya Nangoloh.

For example, Humphry Mubita Mwilima, a young brother of former DTA MP Geoffrey Kupuzo Mwilima, informed human rights defenders that on July 7 2004, the prosecution team attempted to recruit him at Mukusi Cabins in Katima Mulilo in order to become ‘a witness against my own brother and others, but I vehemently refused’”.

NSHR was also informed that in a similar incident on July 6 2004, CID officers investigating the alleged secessionist plot also picked up Tungulu Smasha Kasungo (73) and his son to be used by prosecution lawyers as State witnesses but these also declined.


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