This article is meant to present my contribution to the prickly debate that is underway on Facebook, especially among the residents of the Zambezi Region. It is my desire to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy embedded in the contributions made by the sympathisers of the secessionists, as these individuals seem to be motivated by nothing else but family loyalism, and utter indiscretion. It is quite irritating when the residents of this region are again and again drawn back to the debate of an issue that exists in the minds of individuals who failed in their pursuit of different careers. These individuals have used their failure, and the bad experience associated with it, to justify the secession of the Zambezi Region from Namibia. It is so sad that these individuals have won sympathisers among innocent fellows who have failed to rise above imaginary tribal boundaries either due to sheer absurdity, or little education.
A lecture should be extended to the secessionists and their sympathisers that the image of an oppressor should first be internalised by each and every one in a given locality to result in anything. It is the internalisation of the oppressor’s image that should give birth to any movement for freedom. It is the collective realisation that an oppressive entity has to be ejected from one’s system for freedom that is required for actual realisation to be attained. The internalisation of the oppressor by individuals results in an inevitable urge to liberate oneself from such a foe. Brothers and sisters, I am stressing that the feeling of liberation should come from within each individual.
No one, whatsoever, has the power to instil the image of the oppressor in the mind of anybody, be it one’s son or one’s daughter. Not even foolish lectures about the history of “Caprivi” could create a different realisation. After all, we are all suffering from the “freedom-fight-fatigue” syndrome, and who will opt to go back into the bush if arrival from there took place just the other year?
During the colonial era, it was easy for the different groups of Namibia to team up against a single foe, because all groups internalised the image of their oppressor and aspired for freedom from the same adversary. It should then be mentioned that if the majority of people in the Zambezi Region of Namibia cannot comprehend the image of their so-called oppressor at this time, any suggestion of seceding the region is a foolish undertaking that helps to explain the deep-seated mental problems engrained in the minds of those behind it.
Who on earth could, just like that, think of creating an image of an imagined oppressor that exists only in their twisted minds and then inculcate it into the psychology of the residents of that region? The aspiration to engage an armed struggle has to come from within, and it is absolute madness to try and induce someone into acting against the enemy that has neither shape nor form.
The whole exercise amounts to incitement, or sheer provocation, if one tries to define the image of an oppressor whose shape and form only he or she can comprehend. No one defined the image of the oppressor in the colonial era. The scourge of oppression was felt by everyone, and the desire to join the armed struggle took hold. Students abandoned classes to join the struggle and their parents understood when their children did not return home. Wives had no choice, but to accept why their husbands chose to forsake their conjugal responsibilities and joined the struggle for freedom. They were all convinced that freedom from such a vicious oppressor required them to sacrifice their lives by engaging in an armed struggle.
Those who harbour secessionist mentalities should prepare for a mammoth task, as they try to spur residents of the Zambezi Region of Namibia into engaging the struggle for freedom from an oppressor the psychology of the majority does not accept. It is difficult for one to understand how the whole region can be forced to fight against an enemy that can only be defined by certain individuals from only one side of the region. One wonders whether, or not, the support this bedevilled movement receives from groups such as the ‘Caprivi Concerned Group’ emanates from inner conviction or it is out of sheer sympathy for the deep holes in which their brothers dug themselves on 1 August 1999. It can be seen from the beginning that the whole endeavour is actually going nowhere. The fact that some schools of thought argue that the noise set up by the ‘Caprivi Concerned Group’ could amount to the liberation of the region, makes one wonder why the word ‘insanity’ should not be used to define such mental states.
The failure of others to manage their frustrations after being seen out from their professions for failing to relate well with fellow Namibians has found solace in the hearts of certain individuals. These are the brothers and sisters who lack the ability to thoroughly interrogate issues due to either lack of education or the desire to demonstrate tribal loyalty. They allow themselves to be used by disgruntled individuals as they gallantly attempt to resuscitate their political lives.
Disgruntled individuals in their late ages have begun to present all sorts of histories that do not make sense to a country that attained independence when different groups consolidated themselves on the basis of national unity. The young people in the Zambezi now know that “tribal wars are planned by people too old to fight for people too young to die.”
* Simataa Silume is a scholar and commentator on social issues. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of his employer, or this newspaper, but sorely his personal views as a citizen.