Lawrence Sampofu fumed: "DEAL WITH THIS GROUP!"

"I can't be told by anyone how to live. If I went to the minister and said, 'Move from your place', he would think I was mad."
 - 'Bushman' San elder

"When Elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers!" African proverb

Lawrence Sampofu as well as Mishake Muyongo must declare what they will do to right historical wrongs and how they will address the historical injustices and the genocide still waged against the San people of Caprivi and Namibia.

About 30,000 people in Namibia, living mostly in the north and east of the country, are identified as San or Bushman people, the etymologically pejorative, but widely used terms describing the Hai//om, Ju/’Hoansi, !Xu (or Vasekele), Kwe (or Khwe), //Khau-/eisi, Naro, !Xo, /Auni and /Nu-//en ethno-linguistic groups – and since colonial times, they have been pushed off their traditional lands, without adequate compensation.

In both territories the San have been haunted, are persecuted and became conservation refugees by being evicted from the Etosha as well as in the Caprivi Strip from the Bwabwata National Park, Mudumu National Park and Nkasa Rupara National Park. Now thought to number just 9000, the Hai//om had been expelled from the Etosha reserve in the 1960s. They are currently the only San community, without any communal lands.  The Hai//om in particular complained that the 2007 centenary celebrations to mark the establishment of Namibia’s premier Etosha National Park, ignored the bitter experience of their people.

The San peoples remain the most marginalized in Namibia. Some 80 per cent lack land rights, few San children have access to schools, San have the lowest average incomes and life expectancy, are under-represented in government, and face rampant societal discrimination. The high incidence figures of rape of San women by members of other communities are appalling. The post-independence government has been reluctant to recognize Khwe land claims. Only reluctantly the government of Namibia agreed in 2006 to support efforts to teach the Khwedam language in Khwe villages.

The rules and the spirit of the Kampala convention must help the San of Namibia and Caprivi to re-gain their rights and the African Union is tasked with this in the first place - as well as the international community.

If, and when, Gentlemen, you have reconstituted the San in their full rights in Caprivi as well as Namibia, and only then you can start thinking how you fight each other for the rest of it.


By Caprivi Concerned Group on June 16, 2016

We are reliably informed that Namibia’s Ministry of Defence have their national security forces sensitised, and their arms or ammunitions ready, for an unknown operation in Caprivi Strip.

Last week, ammunitions in Mpacha Military base were cleaned in preparation for an unknown operation in the Strip, and yesterday on 15 June 2016, a company of (about 400) NDF members, and some special Reserve Forces, were sent to the strip for the same unknown operation.

It is our understanding that when security forces are sent out, fully armed and sensitised, they are going there to attack or defend. We therefore call upon the Commander in Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, Dr. Hage Geingob, to tell the nation what the military operation is all about, and / or what necessitates it.

We further call on human rights organisations and all concerned parties to keep their eyes on Caprivi Strip, and the UN Security Council to also keep a closer eye on the activities of these Namibian forces which already have a very bad record of serious human rights violation in the concerned territory.

We also call upon all Caprivians to be vigilant, especially former Caprivi political prisoners and Dukwi returnees, not to go to the forest alone or go anywhere at night. We all know that this is what happened in 1998, more soldiers were sent to the Strip and harassed people in villages, which subsequently led to the exodus to Botswana.

Event Linyando (Former NDF soldier)

Secretary for Information and Publicity
Caprivi Concerned Group



10 June 2016

I welcome you all to this press conference. I particularly welcome the representatives of our Traditional Authorities from all the four Traditional Authorities in Zambezi region.

I also welcome our National Leaders, the Honourable Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament who travelled all the way from Windhoek to specifically attend this press conference.

Therefore, this is indeed a unique and special press conference in that it is the first time in history of the region for our four Traditional Authorities together with the our elected Local, Regional and National Leaders to speak with our voice on issues that I am going to address in this Press Conference. In other words, the issues I am going to address have been agreed upon and endorsed by our Traditional leaders together with our elected representatives.

SECESSIONIST ACTIVITIES OF THE SO-CALLED CAPRIVI CONCERNED GROUP: It is common cause that the people of Namibia emerged from colonialism on 21 March 1990. This was preceded by the drafting and adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia by the Constituent Assembly, a body that was tasked to draft the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia.

It is also common cause that the Constituent Assembly was chaired by one of the distinguished sons of Namibia, His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, our current President of the Republic of Namibia.

Seven political parties were represented in the Constituent Assembly and their members unanimously adopted the Namibian Constitution, our supreme law of the land.

This is consistent with the internationally recognised principles of democracy, namely, that those who are democratically elected are given a specific mandate to speak on behalf of those who elected them. It goes without saying therefore, that an unelected Concerned Group can not purport to speak on behalf of a nation or region. For some time now, we have observed the secessionist activities of the so called Concerned Group whose mission is to support the secession of the Zambezi region from the rest of Namibia. During the Presidential and National Assembly Elections of 2014, the Group was pre-occupied with instigating the residents of the Zambezi region not to take part in the elections apparently because the Zambezi region is not part of Namibia.

Their activities were repeated during the Regional and Local Authorities Elections. Fortunately, they dismally failed to incite the residents of the Zambezi Region in both occasions. Their unpatriotic, divisive and secessionist activities were roundly rejected by the residents of the Zambezi Region. It is common cause that residents of the Zambezi region, just like other Namibian citizens went to the poll and freely elected their representatives.

Allow me therefore, on behalf of my colleagues to take this opportunity to express our appreciation and gratitude to our Traditional Authorities who mobilised their subjects to ignore the activities of the Group and vote for representatives of their choice, which they did in large numbers.

We have recently observed the activities of this Group through social media hailing insults at some of our National Leaders, as well as our Regional Leaders in furtherance of their secessionist activities. This kind of behaviour is condemned in strongest possible terms and it is rejected with the contempt it deserves. We call upon responsible authorities to apply the letter and spirit of the laws of our Republic to deal with this Group which is hell bent to destabilize peace and stability that we enjoy today. We call upon all law abiding citizens of our region to report secessionist activities of this Group so that the law can take its cause. We are also aware that this so-called Caprivi Concerned Group is nothing but a front of the United Democratic Party led by Mishake Muyongo, an architect of secession.

As already pointed out, the Namibian Constitution which defines the international boundaries of Namibia under article 1(4), was unanimously adopted by all seven political parties represented in the Constituent Assembly, a body that was tasked to draft the Namibian Constitution. Unlike in most other independent African countries where independence constitutions were drafted mainly by the departing colonial powers, the Namibian Constitution was authored by Namibians themselves. Namibians from the Zambezi region took part in the constitutional development of Namibia through their political parties.

Indeed, as the 1989 Constituent Assembly election results show, Namibians from the Zambezi region were involved in not less than five (5) of seven (7) political parties which wrote and adopted the Namibian Constitution. These political parties are: the SWAPO party of Namibia, the DTA of Namibia, the United Democratic front of Namibia (UDF), the National Patriotic Front of Namibia (NPF), and the Federal Convention of Namibia (FCN). Therefore, no one from this region can claim that he or she was excluded from the constitutional developments of Namibia.

We wish to point out that three (3) colonial powers were involved in the delimitation of the international boundaries of Namibia to which Zambezi region is an integral part, namely, Germany, Great Britain, and Portugal.

There are two main legal instruments which define the international boundaries of Namibia. These are:

a) “Declaration between Portugal and Germany, respecting the Delimitation of the possessions of the two Countries, and their respective spheres of influence in South Africa”, signed in Lisbon on December 30, 1886; and

b) “Agreement between Great Britain and Germany, respecting Zanzibar, Helgoland and the Spheres of Influence of the two countries in Africa”, commonly known as the Anglo-German Agreement of 1st July 1890.

Article 1 of the Declaration between Portugal and Germany of 1886 defines the northern boundaries of Namibia as follows:

“The boundary-line between the Portuguese and German possessions in South West Africa shall follow the course of the River Kunene from its mouth to the cataracts which are formed by that river to the south of Humbe when crossing the range of the Canna Hills. From this point the line will run along that parallel as far as the River Kubango, (Kavango) and thence it will continue along the course of the same river as far as Andara which place is to remain within the sphere of German interests. From this place (i.e. Andara) the boundary-line will continue in a straight direction eastwards as far as Catina (i.e. Katima Mulilo rapids), on the Zambesi (Zambezi)”.

Following the demarcation of the northern boundary of Namibia during the 1940’s, the last beacon is still visible near the Katima Sesheke Bridge at Wenela area. It is clear from the provisions of the 1886 Declaration that the area known as German South West Africa INCLUDED the Zambezi region.

The Anglo-German Agreement of 1st July 1890 completed the description of the land mass of German South West Africa known today as Namibia.

Again, it must be noted that the name South West Africa, which include Zambezi region was specifically mentioned by name in the Anglo-German Agreement of 1st July 1890 referred to above.

The description of the boundary started at Orange River. The material clause is Article III(2) which, inter alia reads as follows:

In Southwest Africa the sphere in which the exercise of influence is reserved to German is bounded: To the east by the line commencing at the above-named point, and following the 20th degree of east longitude to the point of its intersection by the 22nd parallel of south latitude; it runs eastward along that parallel to the point of its intersection by the 21st degree of east longitude; thence it follows that degree northward to the point of its intersection by the 18th parallel of south latitude; it runs eastward along that parallel till it reaches the river Chobe; and descends the centre of the main channel of that river to its junction with the Zambesi, where it terminates. It is understood that under this arrangement Germany shall have free access from her Protectorate to the Zambesi by a strip of territory (the Caprivi Strip) which shall at no point be less than 20 English miles in width. (emphasis added).

It is crystal clear from the provisions of Article III(2) of the Anglo-German Agreement that the description of South West Africa INCLUDED Zambezi region.

German official maps, South African official maps and most importantly the United Nations maps ALL show that Zambezi region is an integral part of Namibia.

In 1966, the United Nations by General Assembly Resolution 2145 (XX1), 27 October 1966 (Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-first Session, Supplement No. 16, document A/6316) terminated South Africa’s mandate over South West Africa.

In 1967, the United Nations denounced South African rule as illegal and assumed de jure government of Namibia through the newly established UN Council for Namibia. (General Assembly Resolution 2248S-V, 19 May 1967, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Special Session, Supplement No. 1, document A6657). Although there was little the UN Council could do to as a practical matter to assert its authority over Namibia, it did engage in a fairly extensive map-making programme.

In 1977, the United Nations published Map No. 2947 of Namibia, pursuant to a Resolution of the UN General Assembly, requesting “the Secretary-General urgently to undertake, in consultation with the UN Council for Namibia, the preparation of a comprehensive United Nations map of Namibia reflecting therein the territorial integrity of the territory of Namibia” (General Assembly Resolution A/31/150, 20 December 1976, Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first session, Supplement No. 39, document A/31/39). This map, at a scale of 1:4,000,000, was the first map published by the United Nations. (Namibia 1:4,000,000 United Nations, October 1977 Map No. 2947). Another map of the same scale was published in 1984, (Namibia 1:4,000,000 United Nations,1984, UN Map No. 3228 Rev. 1).

Then in 1985, a large format map was published pursuant to Resolution 35/227H of the UN General Assembly of 6 March 1981 (Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 48 document A/35/48). The UN announcement of its publication reveals how carefully the UN cartographers constructed this detailed map. For example, it stated that:

“Over 450 separate topographic maps, bathymetric charts, road maps and thematic material were examined and used. The final product was combined with a mosaic of satellite imagery prepared by the Remote Sensing Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organisation”.

The territory of Namibia is shown by hypsometric tinting that clearly covers the Zambezi Region. The legend states that “this map represents an official United Nations map of Namibia and supersedes any other map of Namibia or South West Africa hitherto published by South Africa”. It was circulated in an edition of 1,000 copies and was given maximum publicity. The map is at a scale of 1:1,000,000 (Namibia 1:1,000,000 United nations 1985, UN Map No. 3158).

It need hardly be said that the 1886 Declaration between Portugal and Germany, and the Anglo-German treaty of 1890 were major episodes in “the Scramble for Africa” through which some colonial boundaries in Africa were delimited by European Powers in the nineteenth century. It is also common knowledge that these colonial boundaries divided communities at a large scale. Thus the delimitation of the boundaries of Namibia by European powers was not unique to this part of Africa.

It is an established principle of international law, generally known as uti possidetis, that where a territory was under the control of such a colonial power, the territorial sovereign limits of the successor State is limited to the territory previously under the control of such colonial Power. Namibia, therefore, inherited the territory under the effective occupation and control of the colonial powers. i.e. German and thereafter South Africa.

The inherited colonial territory is today embodied in Article 1 (4) of the Namibian Constitution which Mr. Muyongo ably assisted to draft. Article 1 (4) states as follows:

“The national territory of Namibia shall consist of the whole territory recognised by the international community through the organs of the United nations as Namibia, including the enclave, harbour, and port of Walvis Bay, as well as the off-shore islands of Namibia, and its southern boundary shall extend to the middle of the Orange River”.

It is clear, therefore, that the territory recognised by the international community through the organs of the United Nations as Namibia includes Zambezi region as evidenced by the maps published by the United Nations.

The legal position regarding the status of Zambezi region is, therefore, very clear. The region is and has always been regarded by the Namibian people, colonial authorities, and the international community as an integral part of Namibia. Mr Muyongo himself confirmed this position when he proposed on 4 December 1989 in the Constituent Assembly during the drafting of the Namibian Constitution that Namibia should become a unitary state.

Indeed, what Mr Mishake Muyongo proposed on 4 December 1989 during the drafting of the Namibian Constitution was accepted by the Constituent Assembly. This is what he proposed: ‘Mr Chairman, Namibia will be a unitary, sovereign and democratic state. What do we understand by a unitary state?


Mr Muyongo’s constitutional proposals are today contained in Article 1 (1) of the Namibian Constitution and reads as follows: “The republic of Namibia is hereby established as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded upon the principles of democracy, rule of law and justice for all.”

This Article was preferably referred to as Muyongo clause. Today the same Muyongo is shooting at the very constitutional provision which makes Namibia a unitary State. A provision which he helped to draft.

We have also recently witnessed what appears to be a one person membership to the so-called Movement for the Survival of the River Races in Zambesia.This individual is promoting scattered papers of explorers, including maps which were drawn before the international boundaries of Namibia. It is claimed that the so called people of Zambesia are separate from Namibia and constitutes a separate country.

This claim is simply dismissed with the contempt it deserves. In any event, we are aware that while patriotic Namibians were fighting to liberate Namibia, the same individual was a Zambian national who was fully employed and drawing a good salary. The same individual came back to Namibia before independence, and again drawing a good salary from the apartheid colonial regime. We therefore call upon patriotic Namibians from Zambezi region to shun this individual. Given his past record, he is simply not qualified to speak about freedom which he failed to fight for during the colonial period.

It is a fact that during the struggle for freedom and national independence, many Namibians who were born from other parts of Namibia died in this Region fighting for the independence of Namibia. Most prominent among them are Tobias Hainyeko who was killed at Namwi Island, plus minus 6 kilometres east of where we are and Hanganee Katjipuka. Equally a countless number of Namibians who were born from Zambezi Region died in other Regions of Namibia. This is because we believed that we were fighting for one country and one cause.

We believed that we were all Namibians. This is what Brendan Simbwaye, Greenwell Matongo, Benjamin Bebi, Richard Kapelwa Kabajani, David Chatambula Masida, Judea Lyaboloma Tubukwasa and Maxwell Kulibabika all fought for Namibia. We should never betray them. Victims of 1960s Massacres at Singalamwe and Shatuhu which occurred during the struggle to liberate Namibia died in the name of Namibia, we must NOT betray them.

Source: New Era Newspaper, Friday, 17 June 2016, p. 39



It is high time that African governments should be held accountable for the crimes perpetrated against their fellow countrymen and minorities. I say that, Namibia must be one of those countries to face the International Court of Justice because of the atrocities and other crimes they committed in the Caprivi Strip. For SWAPO to deliberately hold hostage the people of Caprivi Strip and those from Namibia is a crime against humanity. For Caprivians and Namibians to let SWAPO hold them hostage over an issue that needs a political round table solution is a mockery to their intelligence.

We all know that the Caprivi Strip case could easily find a lasting solution, but Nujoma and his cronies keep dragging it up for political gains and interests. For those who were in SWAPO in 1964, they know that Caprivi Strip and South West Africa were separate territories. Put differently, Sam Nujoma and his people from South West Africa had their political party “Ovambo People’s Organization”, and the people of the Caprivi Strip and I led a political organization “Caprivi Africa National Union”.

In Zambia the two political parties merged to operate under SWAPO, but mark my words, “no Caprivian carried a SWAPO card because we continued to operate as CANU members. In addition, my position as Acting Vice President in SWAPO came about because I was CANU president after Mr. Simbwae was arrested. Leaving SWAPO meant that all Caprivians were to back track in their footsteps to find their party, seek, and pursue their freedom under their political organization “The Caprivi African National Union”. Our agreement with SWAPO was to fight a common enemy “the apartheid regime of South Africa” and nowhere did we agree or sign to annex Caprivi Strip to South West Africa/Namibia.

The current Namibia’s sitting President, Hage Geingob when he was asked by Caprivians in Katima Mulilo, Caprivi Strip and in the Namibian parliament had the audacity to say that, “Mishake Muyongo was a drafter of the Namibian Constitution, Vice President of SWAPO, and that Caprivians are Namibians.” First, I was a member of the Constituent Assembly and not involved as a member of the committee that set and drafted the Constitution. Second, I was only an Acting Vice President of SWAPO on behalf of somebody. Who said Caprivians were Namibians? What does Act 38(5) of South West Africa Constitution and Act 147 of 1951 of the Republic of South Africa say?

SWAPO thought they were playing clever by swapping Act 38(5) of 1968 with the 1999 law of the Namibian parliament, but guess what; they acknowledged that the demarcated territory “Caprivi Strip” was and is not part of South West Africa/Namibia. I say that SWAPO’s illegal presence in the Caprivi Strip is none other than forced occupation of arms.

Again, on the second leg of Hage Geingob’s response that Muyongo was a drafter, you know even if I became Namibia’s President when I contested elections against Nujoma, still the people of the Caprivi had the legal case to take to the Courts. I could happily facilitate that scenario to take effect within my first term in office. Caprivians cannot be forced to be Namibians by one or a handful of SWAPO elite and we all should understand that no one is above the law including the President.

What is taking place here (Namibia) is the fact that Sam Nujoma and his cronies are hijacking and holding hostage the people of Namibia and the Caprivi Strip to justify the hatred and character assassination of my being. Unitary State had nothing to do with the Caprivi Strip question because it is not only Muyongo who wants the Caprivi Strip to be independent but all the Caprivi Strip population. Why is SWAPO afraid to test the waters by allowing a United Nations organized referendum to take place in the Caprivi Strip? The answer is simple; they dare to take that route because that could bring to an end of their forced occupation in the Caprivi Strip.

Furthermore, it is unfortunate for President Hage Geingob because I want him to listen very hard. I observed that certain communities within Namibia took an oath not to tell the truth, but honestly speaking; what role did you play during the 1976 Shipanga rebellion, for or against? No wonder Pendukeni Invula Ithana boldly made mention that SWAPO is not for Damaras. Again, while as SWAPO candidate for president, what was the reason for begging the Ovambo people to vote for you?

You claim to be democratic, but I doubt if you understand what democracy mean. It means facing challenges head on. Have you even tried to do that, NO.? It doesn’t mean that you and your government must be oppressive and subject the people of the Caprivi Strip to slavery. It doesn’t mean that because you are more powerful, as government, you have the immunity to grab land that does not belong to your country (Western Caprivi).  It doesn’t mean that you can change the Caprivi Strip name to suit your political interests. By the way, only Caprivians themselves can and will do that.

It doesn’t mean that your government has to indefinitely incarcerate Caprivian political prisoners for a case of your own initiation. It doesn’t mean to be inconsistent and bias to turn a blind eye to the cruel and degrading treatments Caprivian political prisoners suffered at the hands of your armed forces, especially the police. It doesn’t mean that the Executive branch has to threaten, intimidate or pay the judge (Judge Hoff) to force matters to save government from the embarrassment it could get if the Caprivi Strip High Treason case was looked at fairly by a Competent Judge and Court.

In a democratic country, for judges in Courts of law to fail to follow simple guidelines of their post, their action no longer a judicial act as their act represents their own prejudices and goals. What happened in the High Court of Namibia is but travesty of justice.  In a normal court of law and a democratic fcountry, when a judge acts as a trespasser of law, he then loses subject matter jurisdiction and the judge orders become void of no legal force or affect.

Namibia purports to be a democracy in which the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary are separate with checks and balances but the opposite is true. Your government should learn from Botswana as a true example of democracy because they uphold the rule of law as no one including the President is above the law.

Caprivians are not claiming any piece of land from Namibia. What we need is our land as was demarcated by the British from Andara/Mukuvi to Impalila. We are diverse people different from Namibians and it is our right to fight for what we believe other nations have taken away from us. If because of fear of being embarrassed in front of the mediator (s) the Namibian government opts not to sit around the political table with the United Democratic Party (UDP) leadership; we shall leave no stone unturned in our quest for freedom. It is therefore my promise that, we shall exhaust all avenues as we follow all the steps for the Caprivi Strip case to be heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) because it is my firm belief that justice delayed is justice denied.

Forward ever backward never.

Mishake Muyongo
United Democratic Party (UDP)



Namibia: Caprivi Strip renamed

August 13, 2013

Namibia renamed the prominent tourist area the Caprivi Strip Thursday in a move to eradicate its German colonial history.

The Caprivi, a 400km (250 mile) long finger of land extending from the north-eastern corner of Namibia, is a territorial anomaly.

The strip of land was incorporated into the colony of German South-West Africa in the 19th century, since the colonists were hoping to profit from access to the Zambezi river.

In the 1970s and 1980s, under South African rule, the Caprivi became a militarised zone from which the South African army launched attacks on the Angolan-based Swapo, which was then fighting for Namibian independence.

The 450-kilometre (280-mile) area popular for its tropical rivers and wildlife is now called the Zambezi Region, after the river that forms the northern border with Angola, President Hifikepunye Pohamba announced.

The region had been named after Count Leo von Caprivi, chancellor of former colonial master Germany from 1890 to 1894. Though it sounds Italian, the name Caprivi is a legacy of colonialism by Germany, which ran Namibia (then known as South-West Africa) from 1890 until it lost it to the British as war booty after losing the First World War. The Strip was named for Georg Leo Graf von Caprivi de Caprera de Montecuccoli, a Prussian count who succeeded Otto von Bismarck as German chancellor and whose curiously Italianate name derives from his father’s landed titles reaching back to the Italian-Slovenian borderlands on the Adriatic Sea.

The southern African nation was a German colony from 1884 to 1919, then administered by white-minority South Africa until 1990.

Fast facts about the Zambezi region:  
Total area 14 785
Population Approx. 92 000
Density 6.1 /
Constituencies 6
Capital Katima Mulilo
Inhabitants Mostly members of the Bantu language family


A tiny German population still lives in the country.

Two other towns bearing the names of Germany’s colonial politicians were changed to local languages.

Schuckmannsburg in the former Caprivi region was changed back to its original Lohonono.

Lüderitz is now called !Nami=Nüs, which means “embrace” in local Khoekhoegowab, a Khoisan language.

Lüderitz, a harbor town at the other end of Namibia, in the southwest and those punctuation marks in !Nami=Nüs represent clicks and other sounds unique to the Khoisian languages of the Kalahari Desert, which are perhaps the oldest languages in the world. 

The residual German-speaking population and their settlements are a tourist draw; one example is scenic Swapokmund, which played the part of the mysterious Brigadoon-like “Village” in the 2009 remake of the television series The Prisoner. 

Fun fact: Swapokmund is a linguistic blend of a name, which literally means Asshole-Mouth.  Mund is German for mouth, and the town is at the mouth of the Swapok River, derived from the indigenous Nama word tsoakhaub, which means anus—a reference to the large volumes of carcasses and reeking waste that wash out through the estuary during flood season.  





UPDATE 18. September 2019

84 Deported Namibians arrive from Botswana






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