And why Caprivi can’t be cut off from Namibia!
As I laid the origin of Caprivi in previous articles on this site, I’d therefore like to add a few notes to it, stating why Caprivi can’t be separated from Namibia. And those who are perpetrating doing so are wrong! In fact I blame the political structure in Caprivi for failing to bring this matter to finality. It ought to be sorted out already by now if only they were serious about it.
The verdict is that there’s absolutely no case here! To start up with, there has been no time in history whereby the Lozi authorities of Zambia ever claimed Caprivi back. And that’s so because our forefathers had paid them in full and even more for it! Our forefathers worked harder for centuries to obtain Caprivi. The time during which they weren’t even allowed to cross over from Zambia to see how the country they suffered for looked like! Apart from the San people, nobody else lived in Caprivi at that point in time.
And when time finally came for our forefathers to enter Caprivi, all the arrangements were already done by the Lozi people of Zambia. Caprivi was demarcated into five zones, of which our forefathers were only showed where to go! And yet even then, Caprivi was still under the harsh governance of the Lozi people. Our people were mistreated, mutilated, and killed for simple things like looking a Lozi person in the eye. Lozi people were far more brutal and heartless than the South African colonial masters.
The only time, however, that our people ever experienced peace for the first time since the Great Migration was when the Germans purchased Caprivi from the British of Northern Rhodesia/Zambia. And of course, in terms of administration, Captain Streitwolf and his Auxiliary police officers on horses administered Caprivi. Therefore providing great protection to the people of Caprivi! And that was the time our people referred to and are still referring to as the Golden era, “Nako ya mbombolelwa” in Silozi language.
By then our people were so highly cultured in Lozi tradition that none of them ever stood up to a German. They respected the Germans so much that they wouldn’t even look them in the eye. Neither could they stand straight nor remain seated but kneel down whenever a German showed up. For that reason, not even one German took offence on either of them; let alone losing his life to them in Caprivi. And at that point in time, there was no nepotism and tribalism conflict in Caprivi, only utmost respect for everybody.
And this is where Maria Fisch had gotten her wrong impression of our people. Impression she used in her books to describe the adolescence of Caprivians. Saying that they were apparently so and so….but basically that was so because she had seen enough bloody war in German South West Africa. So it was confusing for her, of course, to find such a devoted simple breed of humble people in Caprivi! And in her mind, she believed that she was right to call us all those bad names.
However, not only did the Germans bring peace to Caprivi, but development as well. Amongst other things, they carved the route from Schuckmannsburg to Kavango, after building that bridge over the swampy mashi area at Kongola.
And they rooted out the Portuguese Forts that were built on German territory in west Caprivi. The Germans did more for Caprivi during 1890 – 1914 than the Lozi people ever did for Caprivi in centuries. To this day our people in Caprivi are still thankful to the Germans for setting them free from Lozi oppression.
And there’s absolutely no way that our people would let anybody fool them into going back to Zambia, ever! After all, we don’t owe anything on Caprivi; we had paid the Lozi people in full. And so Caprivi is ours in Namibia. It can’t be given back to Zambia. And it certainly can’t be regarded as a country on its own. Caprivi is officially part and parcel of Namibia since 1890. And therefore, not even the Namibian government has got any right, whatsoever, to separate Caprivi from the rest of Namibia.
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