(This story is from the Namibian newspaper of Friday, January 18 2013, by Catherine Sasman.)

THREE months after submitting to the Namibian police a notice of intention to stage a demonstration in Katima Mulilo, the Caprivi Concerned Group say they are still waiting for a reply from the police.

A spokesperson for the group, Edwin Samati, yesterday said the group had sent the notice in November last year, but the Caprivi regional commander, Commissioner Bollen Sankwasa, had told them that the notice did not clearly spell out the purpose of the demonstration.

After reworking the notice, the group again took the notice to police, and Sankwasa allegedly said he would have to clear the matter with Inspector General Sabastian Ndeitunga.

Ndeitunga was reportedly then going to seek legal advice from the Attorney General Albert Kawana.

“We have not received anything from either Nampol or Honorable Kawana to this date after three months. All we need is a written response whether negative or positive. It appears that Honorable Kawana is deliberately sitting on our request,” Samati said.

But Kawana yesterday said he has not received any request from Ndeitunga for legal advices on the matter, saying the file might have been diverted to the Ministry of Justice or gone missing in the bureaucratic system.

“I have only three file in my capacity as attorney general and those were cleared,” Kawana said.

In April last year, Ndeitunga banned a planned demonstration by the group, then stating that “any pro-secessionist demonstration, whether peaceful or in any whatever form, will construed as supporting the secessionist ideology or the separation of Caprivi region from the rest of Namibia”. The minister of Information and Communication Technology Joël Kaapanda came out in support of Ndeitunga”s decision, saying the police chief had acted in the best interest of the state.

After having been cold-shouldered by the police in November, the group in December appealed to the President Hifikepunye Pohamba to intervene. The group intended to demonstrate on November 23, and postponed the march to November 30.

Samati said they wanted to hand over a petition to Caprivi Governor Lawrence Sampofu to demand a peaceful political solution to the Caprivi treason trail which is entering its 14th year, and they want to open the debate and made a call for a referendum on the political status of the Caprivi Strip.

Sakwasa could not be reached for comment yesterday.

General Ndeitunga yesterday said he had received a request for the demonstration, but that he still had to seek legal advice from the office of the attorney general and prosecutor general.

“What we need to know is that those people [the Concerned Group] are advocating for the same ideas as those who are in prison [the treason suspects]. I am consulting to see if these people should not also be jailed because there is no difference to what they are advocating for those who are on trail. My office won’t tolerate people to advocate the same thing. Maybe there are separatist force behind them,” Ndeitunga Said.

[This story was only published in the newspaper and not online (the Namibian newspaper website).]

Typed and published online by:
Nalisa Muyahi
Secretary for Information and Publicity
Caprivi Concerned Group