|Threats of bloodshed over evictions|
|Written by Staff Reporter|
|Wednesday, 18 July 2012 23:01|
THE Kasaya people of the Masubia clan in Eastern Caprivi, have called on President Hifikepunye Pohamba to avert possible ‘bloodshed’ by ‘intervening immediately’ to stop their eviction from a piece of land they have lived on for more than a century.
“He must send people with immediate effect. We will not move, otherwise there will be bloodshed at Mbalasinte,” said one Kasaya man, who spoke on condition of anonymity. His statement reiterates a veiled threat contained in a letter written to Informanté, setting out their grievances. The imminent eviction of that community would affect about 400 Kasaya members who seasonally reside at Mbalasinte, situated close to the Impalila Island. The disputed area is located on high ground used by the Kasayas during the annual flood season.
The land dispute stems from a long-standing claim made by another Masubia clan, Kabulabulas, who requested the Munitenge Royal Traditional Authority at Bukalo to remove the Kasayas from land that they claim as theirs. Recently Masubia Chief Liswani III reportedly overturned a century-long traditional pact to keep the Kasayas at Mbalasinte. The Munitenge Royal house ruled on 3 July 2012 that the Kasayas should be evicted from the land.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Kasayas were allocated an uninhabited piece of land at Mbalasinte by the first Masubia Chief, the late Liswaninyana, after they were displaced by floods between 1900 and 1937.
The initial claim to the land by the Kabulabulas dates back to 1965, but the then Masubia Chief, Maiba Sinvula, rejected their demand and confirmed the allocation of the land to the Kasayas. The claim was again resuscitated in 1996, but Chief Josua Mutwa Muraliswani II, who succeeded the late Chief Sinvula, again rejected the claim. The current Chief Kisco Maiva Liswani III also threw out the claim, as confirmed by a ruling of the Munitenge Royal Traditional Authority in 2005.
Another Kasaya member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the latest claim was instigated by Induna (headman) Ikosa Solomon (a Kabulabula), who apparently convinced Chief Liswani III to build a sub-khuta (sub-royal palace) at Mbalasinte. It is customary for villages in the Caprivi region to have sub-royal palaces used by the chief and his indunas when travelling in areas under their jurisdiction.
“It’s like we are being chased away from our own country. We really don’t know why the chief changed his mind. We’ll have no place to stay during the floods. If they demolish our homesteads, I will assure you, there will be bloodshed! We’ll not allow it”, said the Kasaya man.
“So now, we don’t know where to go, maybe the Chief knows where we must go. The Government of Namibia appeals to all people who are living on flood plains to move to higher ground, but the Chief wants us to move back to the flood area and die there,” reads their letter in part.
One Kasaya elder, Thaddius Simasiku told Informanté that there are ongoing efforts to resolve the dispute thorugh the offices of Chief Liswani III. The Kasaya representatives met the Chief on 5 July 2012, to discuss the latest ruling to evict them made on 3 July 2012. “We are still waiting for the Chief’s spokesperson, Natamoyo Morris Muyato, to be released from the Rundu Hospital. He is the only one who can arrange an appointment with the Chief,” Simasiku explained.
Several calls to the Munitenge Royal house went unanswered.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 00:23|