Bending over for Botswana must fall - PDM
07 June 2021 | Local News
The continued bullying of Namibians and their government by Botswana, which has seen the killing of over 30 Namibians along borders dividing the two countries, cannot be left unchallenged.
Namibia has also lost large tracts of land to Botswana, including Kasikili Island in the late 1990s.
This is according to a statement availed by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) lawmaker Geoffrey Mwilima last week.
The statement comes as a direct response to news that Namibia and Botswana have entered into a boundary treaty that involves demarcating the southern boundary line of the Caprivi Strip in the Zambezi Region.
The treaty was struck in 2018, according to reports.
“This is a treaty that shows the nature of the relationship between Namibia and Botswana. The consequences of this treaty demonstrate to us that Botswana had a clear intention to steal our land for its people and that the Swapo government did not have regard for the people of this region,” Mwilima said.
The deal, which is shrouded in secrecy, has irked several pressure groups in Zambezi, including Mwilima who hails from the region.
“Just when we are about to get used to the fact that the Namibian government and our own son [Albert Kawana] sold us out by losing our Kasikili Island to Botswana, we are hit with this treaty that gives away huge parts of Stungu village,” he lamented.
Left helpless and undefended
The politician also painted a picture of a destitute Zambezi, saying no community or region in the country has been left as helpless and undefended against foreign powers.
“In the central and northern regions, the rights of Namibians to enjoy their family relations are guaranteed with free flow of people, so much so that there are agreements for their families to obtain free medical treatment in Namibia,” he said.
But the same cannot be said about Zambezi.
“If this government was so good in negotiating for the rights of those compatriots, why is it consistently weak when it comes to negotiating the rights of people of Zambezi? Who will protect this region? Who will save our lives?” Mwilima asked.
Defence minister Frans Kapofi recently said he is in contact with his counterpart in Botswana to urgently deal with the draconian use of force by that country’s army against Namibians living along the border.