[lg policy] Namibia: Liswani III calls Dukwe exiles to come back home

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 11:42:33 EDT 2018

 Liswani III calls Dukwe exiles to come back home
July 31, 2018


Kisco Liswani III of the Masubia tribe

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

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.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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