WINDHOEK, 05 OCT (NAMPA) -
The leadership of the United Democratic Party (UDP) took full responsibility of the secessionist attacks on Government installations in the then Caprivi (now Zambezi) Region on 02 August 1999.
The UDP is now totally banned as a political organisation in Namibia. In particular, former member of the National Assembly (NA) and UDP leader Mishake Muyongo had given a televised interview while already in exile in Denmark in which he openly acknowledged that the attacks at Katima Mulilo in which eight Namibians lost their lives were carried out by members of the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA) - a military wing of the UDP.
During the interview, Muyongo said soldiers belonging to the CLA, of which he was the commander-in-chief at the time, were responsible for the bloody attacks on several Government-owned installations at Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Region on 02 August 1999.
The evidence of video cassette recording materials in which Muyongo took responsibility for the attacks on several Government installations was played before High Court Judge Elton Hoff on Monday on a request by Deputy Prosecutor-General Taswald July on the first day of the process of sentencing in the case of 30 men who were last month found guilty on charges of high treason.
"The Caprivi issue cannot be solved through peaceful means. We have to use other methods in order to liberate ourselves from the Namibian Government led by Sam Nujoma. We have never been Namibians. We are just now being forced to be Namibians. Caprivi has never been part of Namibia," said Muyongo in the interview which was recorded a few days after the attacks at Katima Mulilio.
In testimony before court on Monday morning, Head of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)'s Caprivi High Treason Investigations Unit, Commissioner Lisias Shimutwikeni told the presiding judge that the evidence of the video cassette recording material was part of the potential evidence the members of the law-enforcement units had collected after secessionist attacks at Katima Mulilo.
The senior police officer also informed the court that there are a number of supporters of the UDP and the Caprivi Concerned Group, who still hold clandestine and secret meetings in the Zambezi Region in hopes to gain support to secede the region from the rest of Namibia.
According to Shimutwikeni, some members of the now-banned UDP and the Caprivi Concerned Group are now running a website called 'Caprivi Freedom', where they post secessionist ideas on the site.
On 02 August this year, a speech by Muyongo was posted on the website in which the exiled leader informed his 'people' not to waiver in the quest for total freedom. The high treason case continues on Tuesday. On 14 September this year, 30 men, including former member of the NA Geoffrey Mwilima, were all found guilty on a charge of high treason and other related charges in connection with a failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia.
On the same day, Judge Hoff acquitted and released 35 men after the State failed to prove their involvement beyond a reasonable doubt in the failed plot to secede the region from the rest of the country. The 30 convicted men each face 278 charges, including a count of high treason, nine charges of murder and 240 counts of attempted murder in connection with the failed secession attempts.
All of them remain in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility (former Windhoek Central Prison)'s holding cells until Tuesday for the continuation of the process of sentencing.
State-appointed defence lawyers Patrick Kauta, George Neves, Clive Kavendjii, Profysen Muluti, Jonathan Samukange, Victor Kachaka, Percy McNally and Hennie Kruger are representing the convicted men on the instructions of the Justice Ministry?s Directorate of Legal Aid.
Deputy Prosecutor-General July is being assisted by State Advocate Amize Adams. The 30 men were separately charged with taking part in the attacks at Katima Mulilo, or providing support to the so-called Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA).
The convicts took part in the bloody attacks on the Katima Mulilo Police Station; the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation's (NBC) regional office; Wenela Border Post; and Mpacha Military Base and Airport.
They were said to have been under the leadership of Muyongo. Muyongo and many other alleged leaders of the CLA fled to neighbouring Botswana before the attacks and after the Namibian security forces discovered their underground movement before enforcing tightened security measures in the Caprivi Region.
Muyongo and Mafwe Chief Boniface Mamili are now exiled in Denmark after Namibia pressured Botswana to send them back home to stand trial.