Saturday, May 15, 2021

Feeling unappreciated some Baherero / Ovabanderu want to be relocated back to Namibia

A pressure group of Baherero and Ovambanderu tribes residing in Botswana is busy mobilizing other Baherero and Ovabanderu to seriously consider going back to their country of origin, Namibia.

Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs is not disputing that the issue has been discussed among the two member states after some indicated their intention to go back to Namibia.

Baherero and Ovambanderu who are citizens of Botswana have cited a number of several issues that they are not happy about in Botswana.  

 The pressure group has also engaged the two member states about some of the Baherero and Ovambanderu intention to go back to Namibia.

One of the issues that they are not happy with is refusal by government to  include their language in the schools curriculum.  

Banderu Youth Association, Spokeperson, Abia Kavei confirmed that he was aware that there was a pressure group that has been mobilizing others  to  go back to Namibia.

Kavei indicated that though some have shown their displeasure about the reluctance to recognize their culture in Botswana.

He however said  there was a room to engage the government of Botswana on the issue as compared to relocating.

Kavei was of the view that the issue of culture recognition has been raised by some individuals who were of the view that there is a need for the inclusion of their language in school curriculum.

“If you talk about the issue of mother tongue it is an issue that we want the government to consider introducing Ovabanderu and Baherero languages in school curriculum. That we demand as citizens of Botswana.Language is key and when it is not promoted or included in the curriculum there is a higher chance that the language could go extinct ,” said Kavei.  

He also stated that there is need for other languages to be introduced in the curriculum .    

“It should not only be Setswana and English in our curriculum. There is a need for the constitution to recognize other tribes. The constitution should not only recognize Tswana speaking tribes. If the constitution discriminates and gives other recognition over other  tribes , who are we to question when the constitution does not recognize us, “said Kavei.

He said that the constitution currently gives the Tswana speaking tribes powers  over other tribes.  

He said that most of the neighboring SADC countries have considered including indigenous languages in their  curriculum a move that Botswana could take to preserve the extinction of indigenous languages.

  Kavei indicated that some wanted to relocate to Nambia due  to such frustrations.

Kavei was of the view that some of the issues that have been raised by some who wanted to relocate can be resolved through consultations.

He went further to state that some have also indicated that they were intending to relocate since the government has no enthusiasm to control Foot and Mouth Disease in areas where they rear livestock.

He said though some were of the view that they were unable to sell their cattle due to FMD such issues could be resolved through engaging the government.

Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Edwin Batshu says Botswana and Namibia have no agreement yet on Baherero and Ovabanderu living in Botswana who want to be repatriated back to Namibia.

Batshu stated that there have been discussions between the countries on the matter  before.

He said that the government of Botswana approached the Namibian government at which the Namibian government indicated that they were not ready to engage on the matter.

 Batshu said that the government of Botswana will not refuse to help those who want to go back. He said that they are still awaiting a response on the matter from the Namibian government.

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