Between rights and terrorism

05 November 2019 | Columns

Reports that some people who just returned to Namibia from exile in Botswana recently have crawled back into their political cocoons to demand the cessation of the Zambezi Region from Namibia can’t be taken lightly.

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga’s uncompromising stance that such calls should not be afforded a platform to reverberate further and poison the thinking of peace-loving Namibians resonates with us.

The former exiles were told to return home and help build this country, but it seems they landed and hit the ground running in carrying forwarding Mishake Muyongo’s agenda of seceding Zambezi, for which he probably intends to install himself as a ruler.

The 1999 armed uprising by advocates of secession left 14 people dead, thousands displaced and more thousands languishing in jails for their terrorist activities.

Muyongo’s United Democratic Party (UDP) is legally banned in Namibia, just like Germany has banned Nazi Party as an anti-constitutional organisation.

Posting a picture with a swastika in it or Nazi slogans on social media is illegal in Germany. A man was sentenced not too long ago to three months in prison after he repeatedly posted pictures of a masked man with tattoos of a swastika and other Nazi symbols on Facebook.

The constitutional freedoms that Namibia are admired for internationally should not be used as weapon of mass destruction against her own people.

Those who wish to express their persuasions for cessation must do so in a manner that does not incite events reminiscent of the deadly, dark episode of 1999, and not use Namibia’s own version of Nazism.

On 2 August 1999 secessionists launched unanticipated attacks on the army base, border post and the police station at Katima Mulilo in the then Caprivi Region. They also occupied the state-run radio station. A state of emergency had to be declared in the region.

We agree that, in general, people must still be afforded their rights to state their aspirations, but authorities must remain vigilant and hawk-eyed so as to not allow unwanted history to repeat itself.

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