1991 One of the major challenges for the new government is to restructure the Civil Service. At Independence, there were a total of some 42 500 filled posts in the public service. Until 1991, an increase of about one third or roughly 15 000 public servants could be recorded, bringing the total of filled posts to about 57 500. The main reason for this that new ministries like Defence and Foreign Affairs had to be created. The new government structure is thus set up on the two axes of a theoretical design for tasks so far tackled by the colonial power and so far untested against a national policy or plan, and an inherited Apartheid administration from the pre-independence era. The new post-independence administration structure is extremely centralised and centralising, partly by inheritance and in accordance with the limited manpower resources in Namibia, partly to act against the fragmentation practised by Apartheid. In conformity with Article 141 of the Constitution and the principles of national reconciliation, the government is unable and unwilling to reduce the staffing or make major structural changes such as those that would be implied by radical decentralisation. As a result, the state structure is merely expanded, but not really transformed and soon reaches unbearable proportions.
The new Namibian fishing policy on the utilisation of Namibia’s fisheries resources has its roots in the 1990 Constitution of Namibia. The "White Paper on Fisheries Policies, 1991", reflects the constitutional provisions which are in turn given expression in the Sea Fisheries Act, 1992 and the associated Sea Fisheries Regulations, 1993.
02.01. The definitive stamp series (fourth decimal definitive pre-independence issue) with mineral and mining pictorials as themes (no water mark) dated 16.11.1989 is re-issued as first definitive series of the independent state, now with the name "Namibia".
Early January The Foreign Investment Bill creates the foundation for a free market economy. Approved foreign investments are guaranteed and get free access to foreign currencies. Foreign investments are protected and conflict resolutions follow international practices.
21./24.01. President Nujoma pays his first official visit to Angola. The visit centers around a technical and economic co-operation between the two countries, especially Energy and Water matters arising from the border river Kunene.
25./27.01. Sam Nujoma visits the Peoples Republic of Congo.
31.01. The donation of one million Rand to the African National Congress (ANC), announced by Prime Minister Hage Geingob on 14.12.1990, is handed over to the ANC President Nelson Mandela.
30.01./01.02. The Consultative Conference of Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) takes place in Windhoek.
03./06.02. An International Investors’ Conference is held in Windhoek.
12.02. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, announces that an organised and willful destruction has laid the former South African military base of Bagani I, Bagani II and Bagani III (Buffalo Base) in ruins. The Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication was only alerted to the destruction of the base on 09.02., after President Nujoma had visited the place. The Bagani base was to be used as part of an ambitious programme of resettling destitute people from other rural areas. A Presidential Commission of Enquiry has been appointed to investigate the destruction of the base. The devastation is caused by willful actions of some officials of the Ministry of Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism and missing commitment and coordination between the ministries of Defence and Home Affairs, both which have bases nearby.
13.02. A mistaken Angolese bomb attack on Namibian soil in the northeast (near Bagani) leads to excitement and irritation. This attack was directed against UNITA forces and results in four Namibian injuries (after a first such incident on 05.01.without any injuries). Angola apologises officially and offers compensation.
19.02. President Nujoma announces his first cabinet re-shuffle. Two new Ministries are created. The new Ministry of Fisheries is taken out from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development. The new Minister is Helmut Kangulohi Angula, the former Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy which is replaced by Jesaya Nyamu. The new Ministry for Youth and Sport is taken out from the Ministry for Education and Culture. The new Minister is the former Deputy Minister for Wildlife and Tourism, Pendukeni Iivula Ithana. The outgoing Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Reggie Diergaardt (Member of the National Assembly for the UDF) is appointed as Deputy Minister. Frieda-Nela Williams becomes Permanent Secretary. The new Deputy Minister for Wildlife and Tourism is Ben Ulenga, the former Secretary-General of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN)(NUNW affiliate). Anton von Wietersheim (SWAPO Member of the National Assembly) is appointed as the new Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.
01./07.03. As a result of a state visit to Cuba, President Nujoma brings back 20 Cuban medical doctors.
04.03. Under the chairmanship of the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, delegations from Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana meet at Katima Mulilo in order to discuss the impact of the planned Trans Caprivi Highway on the economies of the four countries and the integration of the four road systems in the area. One aspect is the in loco inspection for the possible location of a new bridge across the Zambezi River near Katima Mulilo, which will provide the essential road link between Namibia and Zambia. Furthermore it is announced by Dierks that the construction of the Trans Kalahari Highway will commence during the current year. The 103 km long section between Gobabis and the Botswana border at Mamuno will cost R 40 million. The 590 km between the border and Jawaneng, southwest of Gaborone, is financed by Botswana. The new road connection shortens the distance between Namibia and Johannesburg with more than 400 km.
14.03. A first round of talks between Namibia and South Africa with respect to the re-integration of Walvis Bay and the Atlantic offshore islands into the Republic of Namibia takes place in Cape Town (The strong Namibian delegation is led by the following ministers: Theo-Ben Gurirab, Hidipo Hamutenya, Ernest Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, Otto Herrigel, Ben Amathila, Helmut Kangulohi Angula, Hartmut Ruppel, Vekuui Rukoro and Klaus Dierks). This conference ends without concrete results.
25.03. A further three Spanish fishing trawlers fishing illegally in Namibian waters are captured by the Namibian authorities, this time with assistance from the South African Marine.
27.03. A bilateral assistance agreement between the USA and Namibia to the tune of US $ 35 million to support the Namibian education system is concluded.
10.04. The Windhoek High Court rules that the five Spanish fishing trawlers including their fishing cargo, valued at R 115 million altogether, which were fishing illegally in Namibian waters and caught on 25.11.1990, are to be transferred to the Namibian government. Consequently the European Community breaks off all negotiations with the Namibian authorities regarding fishing quotas and concessions (The EC is pressurising Namibia to allow a much higher fishing quota. 70% of the EC allowed fishing quota is reserved for Spain.). The EC decision goes not undisputed among some EC member states, but the Spanish delegate insists on it due to the dispute between Spain and the Namibian government. The captains and officers of the Spanish fishing trawlers are sentenced by the Windhoek High Court on 24.09.
The new Uukwambi King , Elenga (Enene) (Oshivambo traditional title), Herman Iipumbu, is sworn in at Uukwangula.
22./25.04. Sam Nujoma officially visits Tanzania.
25./28.04. An official visit to Zimbabwe follows. A planned state visit to Lesotho (28./30.04.) is cancelled at the very last moment.
May An agreement is reached between the Angolese rebel movement UNITA and the ruling party MPLA on a cease fire to end the civil war, a new constitution guaranteeing human and political rights, the fusion of the two armies, and the holding of multiparty elections before the end of 1992. The 1992 election gives the MPLA most of the votes, but not enough to avoid a run-off with UNITA, which comes in second. UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi rejects the results, however, and civil war flares anew. In spite of several international peace efforts, the war in Angola continues until the death of Savimbi on 02.02.2002 in the Moxico Province in southeastern Angola.
03.05. Fumu (traditional title in the Kavango) Erwin Mambo Munika is inaugurated as King of the Mbukushu area in Mukwe in the Kavango Region.
07./08.05. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, presents the first group of Namibian infrastructural projects for implementation during an extra-ordinary meeting for the UN's Transportation and Communication Decade in Africa (UNTACDA II) in Addis Ababa: 1. The construction of the Trans Caprivi Highway; 2. the upgrading of the highways between Namibia and Angola to the Port of Namibe (Namibe Corridor); 3. the building of the Trans Kalahari Highway; 4. the planning for a new connection road between the Trans Caprivi and Trans Kalahari highways through the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions; 5. the completion of the Keetmanshoop to Lüderitz highway (Aus to Goageb section); 6. the planning for a direct link road between Aus or Lüderitz to Oranjemund; 7. the planning for the Trans-Caprivi railway line from Grootfontein to Zambia; 8. the realisation of several international telecommunication projects like an optical fibre link between Grootfontein and Katima Mulilo, an optical fibre link between Ondangwa and Lubango in Angola and a micro wave link between Windhoek and Ghanzi in Botswana.
17.05. A second round of talks between Namibia and South Africa with respect to the re-integration of Walvis Bay and the Atlantic offshore islands into the Republic of Namibia takes place in Windhoek. It is agreed that a joint administration of the disputed enclave should be established by the two countries. Furthermore agreement is reached in principle on the revised Oranje River border which should follow the river’s thalweg and no longer the high-water level on its northern bank (although still not finalised in September 2002).
23.05. The Minister for Finance, Otto Herrigel tables the Budget for the Financial Year 1991/92. Herrigel calls the budget "cautiously expansive".The budget makes provision for an expenditure of R 3 120 million against an expected revenue of R 2 423 million, a real increase of nine percent in comparison with the financial year 1990/91. The deficit will be covered from savings from the last financial year (R 200 million), R 78 million from interests and R 105 million from donor assistance. The remainder is covered by credits but no foreign credits are planned. Again, no tax increases are envisaged. Capital projects to the tune of R 554 million, an increase of 66% against 1990/91, are envisaged. 61 Million go to the agricultural rural development of the formerly neglected areas in the north, furthermore to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, mainly for road projects (R 156 million altogether), R 32 million for the Trans Kalahari (US $ 14 million for the total project), Trans Caprivi (57 US $ million for the total project) and the Aus to Goageb highways as well as the expansion of the telecommunications infrastructure in the north. Other infrastructural projects contain the provision for low-cost housing, the expansion of rural electrification and water supply systems. They are also financed from the development budget. Further capital projects are planned in the health sector (R 15 million) and for the educational sector (R 52 million). Lower expenditures are announced in the defence budget (R 184 million) and police (R 210,9 million). A negative effect is still evident by the over proportional size of the civil service, a heritage of the former colonial administration. The real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 1990/91 shows an increase of 5,1% due to the growth in the diamond (56% increase) and fish productions (84% increase). Other mining products, however, show a decrease, especially in the production of the Rössing Uranium. The fish production gets a special booster by the opening of the Pescanova fishing factory at Lüderitz (Middle of May 1991) with an investment of R 28 million and 500 new employment possibilities. The inflation rate increases from 10% at the beginning of 1990 to 18,1% at the end of the year, with an average inflation rate of 11,9%.
07.06. The Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Nahas Angula, tables in the National Assembly a report: "Pedagogy in Transition: The Imperatives of Educational Development in the Republic of Namibia". This report paves the way for the abolition of the old South African and the introduction of new syllabi at Namibia’s secondary schools. The new syllabus is based on a programme developed by an agency of the University of Cambridge. This new system results in new examinations: International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE). The syllabus results in many problems for the learners in the coming years.
11.06. Prime Minister Hage Geingob rejects growing criticism of Sam Nujoma’s official trips to foreign countries and refers to the many benefits of bilateral agreements arising from such journeys.
16.06. The governments of Botswana and Namibia reach an agreement regarding the establishment of a Joint Commission to Repatriate Persons of Namibian Origin from Botswana. The target group to be repatriated are the descendants of Ovaherero who fled during the Ovaherero-German War of 1904/06 to British Bechuanaland.
19.06. The Broadcasting Act (Act No. 9 of 1991) legalises the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) which came into being in May 1990 as successor of the South West African Broadcasting Corporation (SWABC). The company has the freedom to decide on programmes and editorial policies. It assumes the important role, to educate, inform and entertain the people of Namibia. The corporation has the responsibility to foster unity between Namibians, promote national reconciliation, economic and cultural development, peace and stability. The first Managing Director as from 1990 is Nahum Gorelick. Since its establishment the NBC makes significant improvements to its transmitter systems so that by the end of 1990s it has the capacity for the radio network to reach about 95% of the population while television reaches just reaches about 40%. 1996 almost all NBC radio services are available on FM frequencies, and high power FM transmitters are installed in Opuwo, Rundu, Epukiro, Rietfontein, Aminuis and Terrace Bay. Television transmitters are installed at Oshakati, Opuwo, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, Terrace Bay, Epukiro, Aminuis, Stampriet, Brukkaros and Oranjemund. Radio signals are carried via 35 transmitter sites and TV signals over 30 transmitter sites country wide.
18./20.06. ANC President Oliver Tambo visits Windhoek.
26.06./01.07. The long awaited Land Conference, chaired by Prime Minister Hage Geingob, takes place with 500 delegates in Windhoek. The conference ends with 23 resolutions which have only recommending and not binding effect. The status-quo in the sensitive land issue is maintained. The existing imbalance in the land distribution is also kept. Demands for the return of land on ground of historical claims are excluded. Transfer of land is only possible for just compensation in accordance with the Namibian Constitution.
07.07. The Namibian National Students Organisation (NANSO) which to date was affiliated with SWAPO decides on its annual congress to terminate the affiliation with the party.
08.07. A shocking racist incident is taking place at the Onduri Hotel in Outjo. The Deputy Minister for Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism, Ben Ulenga, is booted out of the  hotel by the owner, Mr. Burkhard Friedrichsmeier. The incident is witnessed by the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, who lays charge against the hotel owner. This incident leads to two court cases (Onduri Court Cases) and the promulgation of the Racial Discrimination Prohibition Act (Act No 26 of 1991) later this year.
25.07. After a disclosure by the South African secret agent, N Basson, the South African Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pik Botha, admits that South Africa had set up a massive "slush fund" of 100 million Rand to fund all opposition parties in an effort to defeat SWAPO in the UNO supervised elections in 1989.
The contract for the construction of the second phase of the Trans Caprivi Highway from Takwasa to Nyangana (48 km) is, for R 33 million, after an international tender procedure, allocated to the company Stocks & Stocks Namibia.

Namibia_Kavango_TransCaprivi_km45.JPG (72385 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway near Mupapama, km 45 east of Rundu, Kavango Region, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Kavango_TransCaprivi_OmurambaOmatako_1.JPG (72517 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway at the Omuramba Omatako, Section: Takwasa - Nyangana, km 60 east of Rundu, View to the East, Kavango Region, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Kavango_TransCaprivi_OmurambaOmatako_2.JPG (52150 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway at the Omuramba Omatako, Section: Takwasa - Nyangana, km 60 east of Rundu, View to the West, Kavango Region, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Kavango_TransCaprivi_km75.JPG (61654 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway, Section: Takwasa - Nyangana, km 75 east of Rundu, View to the West, Kavango Region, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

Namibia_Kavango_TransCaprivi_km95.JPG (78698 bytes)

The Trans Caprivi Highway, Section: Takwasa - Nyangana, km 95 east of Rundu, near Ndiyona, View to the East, Kavango Region, December 2002
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

08.08. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, announces that an in-depth investigation into national transport policy is carried out and that it will result in a substantially liberalised entry into the road transport industry. A "White Paper on Transport Policy" will be released before the end of the year.
26.08. Prime Minister Hage Geingob visits France, South Korea and the People’s Republic of China in order to ask for donor assistance and private investments.
September Konrad Lilienthal sells the Namibia Nachrichten (NN) (last editor-in chief: Hartmut Rodenwoldt) to the Republikein Group (later Democratic Media Holding and Partners) of the DTA Chairman, Dirk Mudge. Mudge had already in August bought, after the death of Diether Lauenstein in December 1990, the publishing house John Meinert including the Deutscher Verlag with the Allgemeine Zeitung.
19.09. An agreement with Canada is signed in order to train Namibian soldiers in Canada.
20.09. A Namibian-South African Technical Committee for Walvis Bay is established.
26./27.09. Rössing Uranium, a transnational firm of parent company Rio Tinto Zinc, is forced to retrench 750 employees, due to the low Uranium world prices. The loss of income for the Namibian government is estimated with R 100 million. The Rössing management expresses the hope that as from 1994 a new agreement with Electricité de France will improve the situation.
05./06.10. Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda officially opens the 33th Agricultural Show in Windhoek. This is one of his last official tasks before the newly elected Zambian President Frederick Chiluba takes office.
08./10.10. The British Queen, Elizabeth II, pays a state visit to Namibia.
16./22.10. During the Commonwealth Summit Meeting at Harare, which is attended by President Nujoma, a resolution is adopted which demands the re-integration of Walvis Bay and the Atlantic offshore islands into the Republic of Namibia.
29.10. President Nujoma announces the establishment of a Diplomatic Mission (Interest Office) in South Africa. To date Namibia has 13 Embassies and Diplomatic Missions in foreign countries.
End October The first census after independence results in a Namibian population of 1,4 million. Further statistics were the following: Annual per capita income: R 3 000 (1988), whereby "whites" had an annual per capita income of R 41 250 while 55% of the mainly "black" population has to live with an annual per capital income of only R 212.
01.11. The unilateral Namibian establishment of a border post between Zambia and Namibia in the Caprivi Region causes some irritation between the two countries.
07.11. The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), together with the Ministry for Works, Transport and Communication, announces the commercialisation of the Department of Post and Telecommunication. The two services should improve their efficiency and service performance and convert losses into profits. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, makes known that Windhoek should get its own telecommunication satellite station. This station will be used to direct overseas connections via satellite and not any more via South Africa. New post offices in Ovamboland are under construction at Ohangwena, Outapi and Tsandi. The telephone services in the formerly neglected northern areas will be drastically improved.
02.12. The DTA changes from a party alliance to a consolidated party. The acting president, Mishake Muyongo, becomes the new president of the party. Dirk Mudge remains chairman.
04./05.12. The newly elected President of Zambia, Frederick Chiluba, visits Namibia.
07./11.12. The SWAPO Congress takes place in Windhoek. A new Party Constitution and a new political programme are adopted. This programme paves the way for the change from a liberation movement to a political party. Moses Makue 5Garoëb is confirmed as Secretary-General and replaces Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo. Hendrik Witbooi becomes Vice President. A new Central Committee is elected. Two "white" members manage their way into the highest party body for the first time: Hartmut Ruppel and Klaus Dierks.
13.12. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication,  Klaus Dierks, signs a contract with Grinaker Namibia (Pty) Ltd. for the construction of the last section of the Keetmanshoop to Lüderitz highway (100 km: Aus-Goageb). This road project is the first paved highway project to be built by partly labour-intensive means. Furthermore it is announced by Dierks, that the construction of the Trans Kalahari Highway from Gobabis to the Botswana border has commenced. At the beginning of next year the highway from Windhoek to the International Airport (38 km for R 7 million) will be widened.
WB00823_.GIF (134 bytes)

[Return to Table of Contents]

forward.GIF (132 bytes)