Nicholas Chaka BUKALO - Chief of the Masubia tribe Kisco Liswani III on Saturday made an impassioned appeal to over 800 Namibians holed up at Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana to come back home through the current voluntary repatriation. Liswani III made the remarks at the Veekuhane annual cultural festival at his traditional headquarters at Bukalo that was attended by Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, several ministers and thousands of ordinary Namibians. In the speech read on his behalf by Dr Bennett Kangumu, the head of the Unam campus at Katima Mulilo, the Masubia chief advised the youth to cherish the freedom that they enjoy responsibly because the current peace and stability did not come on a silver platter. Taking a veiled swipe at the minority pro-secessionist group, he appealed to fellow Namibians in the Zambezi Region to preserve the existing peace and protect the territorial integrity of Namibia as recognised by international laws. He assured government that “there is no confusion” among members of the Masubia tribe that he leads on the question of whether Zambezi is an integral part of Namibia “because it is and will remain so now and forever”. “And I also doubt any traditional authority in the Zambezi Region will permit secessionist activities in their areas of jurisdiction if their pronouncements on this issue are anything to go by,” he said in reference to the other chiefs in the Zambezi who also denounced the pro-secessionist Caprivi Concerned Group. He said he fully supports government efforts to facilitate the safe and dignified return of the hundreds of Namibians still sheltered at Dukwe in Botswana. Liswani III also said he is amused that Silozi continues being considered by many Namibians in Zambezi as it is the only mother tongue being taught in schools despite the fact the region has several other languages such as Subia, Yeyi, Fwe, Mbukushu and a scattering of San speakers. He wants the introduction of other mother tongues at schools in the region as this will go a long way in cultural preservation. “We are very concerned in the erosion which will over time lead to the natural extinction of indigenous languages. This is very real in our case where our children don’t learn mother tongue language in our schools for Silozi is misconstrued as mother tongue in language policy circles for instruction in school,” stressed Chief Liswani III. He also urged the government to consider fast-tracking the establishment of a national institute for the preservation and promotion of indigenous languages as he feels the establishment of this institute will play a pivotal role in the preservation of indigenous languages in Namibia. “Language is the medium through which cultural preservation that we are celebrating here today is transmitted. For our cultures to survive the pressures of globalization we need to be seriously concerned with the preservation of our indigenous languages and we believe that such an institute will go a long way in addressing this issue,” he said. This year the annual Masubia festival was celebrated under the theme: “Tuvahamwina, Tulivumbe,” which can literally be translated, “We should build together for we are one. “ Paramount Chief of Vekuhane in Botswana, Chobe District, Sinvula Maiba Konkwena, as he has done in previous years was also in attendance while Chieftainship Joyce Nalucha Sekute of the Toka-Leya in Kazungula District in the southern province of Zambia also graced the occasion that attracted several traditional dancers who showcased their skills to a highly appreciative audience. • Nicholas Chaka is a senior information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) based in Katima Mulilo.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-31 08:54:49 10 months ago