2000 All important towns and villages have been connected to Namibia’s digitised telephone network. The towns Koës and Aroab are the last places to receive automated services by Telecom Namibia. Between 1995 and 2000 6 000 km glass fibre cables were laid. The direct lines increased from 73 038 in 1995 to 105 166 in the year 2000.
Several high value cash crops are steadily gaining ground in the agronomic sector. Amongst these are groundnuts, dates, melons and grapes. Namibia enjoys a marketing advantage as its produce is ripe slightly earlier than that of its competitors. With regards to grapes, it is anticipated that Namibia could become the fourth largest grape producer in the southern hemisphere after Chile, South Africa and Australia. Production is expected to increase from the current 2 061 tons of table grapes to approximately 21 003 tons by the year 2003. If these prognoses are accurate, grapes are likely to become the second largest agricultural export earner after livestock and beef as Namibia’s largest agricultural export.
01.01. The Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy, Klaus Dierks, announces that Namibia’s power supply was at no stage at risk to be interrupted by the "Computer Millennium Bug (Y2K)". In order to be protected against all eventualities by the switching over to the new millennium, the power connection to South Africa was interrupted for six hours during the night. The Ruacana Hydro Power Station was capable to supply Namibia in all her power requirements. Furthermore the Van Eck coal fired power station (normally mothballed for economic reasons) in Windhoek has been put on stand-by for a further month.
03.01. The effects of the civil war in Angola can be felt in Namibia. French tourists are attacked by unknown armed bandits on the Trans Caprivi Highway between Divundu and Kongola (three casualties). This brings the tourism sector in Namibia's northeast down for more than two years. A French Commission of Inquiry is not able to trace the culprits in the course of 2000. Consequently the French Minister for Cooperation, Charles Josselin, requests during a visit at the end of the year to Namibia Prime Minister, Hage Gottfried Geingob, to assist in the matter (01.12.).
05.01. Klaus Dierks makes known that the expected higher future electricity prices, especially from the South African network, forces the Ministry for Mines and Energy to investigate alternative energy sources. The priority is to develop renewable energies like solar energy, wind power and biogas. The first wind power station is planned near Lüderitz at the Große Bucht. Two villages will be supplied entirely with solar power: Spitzkoppe Village and Lianshulu in the Caprivi Region.
06.01. Dierks opens the first fair for semi-precious stones in Karibib which is organised by the Small Miners Assistance Centre of the Ministry for Mines and Energy. Especially the small miners from the Erongo Region get the opportunity to market their products to a large public.
11.01. Acting Foreign Minister Tuliameni Kalomoh accuses the independent print media in Namibia to support UNITA and not Namibia’s struggle against the Angolese rebel movement.
Reports from the war zone in the Kavango and Caprivi regions indicate that not only UNITA soldiers but also members of the Namibian Defence Force and Angolese government troops are accused to violate the human rights of civilians.
Appeals to terminate Namibia’s war involvement in Angola come from the opposition party Congress of Democrats (COD)(27.01.), international organisations like Amnesty International (30.01.) and the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN)(09.02.).
12./13.01. The Chinese Foreign Minister, Tang Jiaxuan, visits Namibia.
15.01. A court case is opened against 115 members of the secessionist Caprivi guerillas. They are charged with High Treason. The case is postponed for six months. The secessionists remain in custody.
20.01. The war in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) results in more casualties among the Namibian soldiers. During the battle of Ikela five Namibians are killed and 11 wounded. Since the beginning of the war in 1998 until the end of the year 2000 more than 30 Namibian soldiers are killed.
26.01. The Minister for Finance, Nangolo Mbumba, tables an Additional Budget for the Financial Year 1999/2000. This Additional Budget of N$ 373 million is mainly caused by additional expenditures for the Namibian participation in the war in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC)(N$ 172,7 million). With the revised budget the expected deficit is increasing to more than 4,0% of the GDP.
End January Namibia extradites 83 UNITA prisoners-of-war to Angola.
09.02. The Minister of Fisheries, Abraham Iyambo, announces (repeated on 18.10. and 13.12.) that future fishing quotas would be preferably allocated to Namibians. An outcry of the mainly foreign controlled established companies follows. A court interdict of three subsidiary companies of one of the main fishing concerns is the next step (20.12.), after talks with President Nujoma (27.10.) were not successful.
15.02. After Denmark had granted political asylum to the Caprivi secessionists, Mishake Muyongo and the chief of the Fwe community in the Caprivi Strip, Boniface Bebi Mamili, Namibia demands the extradition of the high treasonists. Denmark refuses this.
21.02. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Theo-Ben Gurirab, meets the former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, who played an important in Namibia’s independence struggle. Present during the meeting are also Jesaya Nyamu and Klaus Dierks as well as the Vice President of the Chevron Corporation, Richard Matzke who shows interest in the development of the Kudu gas field.
22.02. Prime Minister Hage Gottfried Geingob challenges critics like the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) and cautions that Namibia’s involvement in the civil war in Angola is the only solution to end this devastating conflict. This assessment must be seen in the light of UNITA’s past broken peace agreements. At the end Geingob’s appraisal is proven right because the war ends the very day UNITA’s leader Jonas Savimbi is killed in action by Angolese government forces on 02.02.2002 in the Moxico Province in southeastern Angola.
24.02. The Namibian Aviation Training Academy (NATA) at Keetmanshoop which was initiated by former Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Klaus Dierks, before independence (January 1990) is opened by President Sam Nujoma.
10.03. Ongopolo Mining and Processing Limited (OMPL) is officially established and thus safes the Tsumeb mines. The Tsumeb copper smelter becomes operational on 22.06. President Sam Nujoma inaugurates the new mining concern on 16.09. (The copper price reaches the magic limit of US$ 2000 per ton). On 26.11. the OMPL management predicts to reach optimum capacity in February 2001.
13.03. In accordance with the Electricity Act No.2 of 2000, the Minister for Mines and Energy, Jesaya Nyamu, appoints the Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy, Klaus Dierks, who retires on 20.03. from Cabinet, as the Chairperson of the newly established Electricity Control Board (ECB). The other directors of the ECB are: Inge Zaamwani, managing director of Namdeb Diamond Corporation, Naudé Theron, director of ABB Windhoek, Jason Nandago, director of Metropolitan Life and Advocate Shakespeare Masiza. Siseho Simasiku, Permanent Secretary for Mines and Energy, is appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the ECB with effect from 01.05.
21.03. The re-elected President Sam Nujoma announces his Third Cabinet for the third freely elected Government of the Republic of Namibia. Hage Gottfried Geingob again becomes Prime Minister. Hendrik Witbooi is again appointed in the position of the Deputy Prime Minister. The following ministries are remaining, are added or are consolidated (Minister, Deputy Minister, Permanent Secretary): Agriculture, Water and Rural Development (Helmut Kangulohi Angula, Paul Smit, Vaino Shivute); Defence (Erikki Nghimtina, Victor Simunja, Erastus Negonga); Basic Education, Culture and Sport (John Mutorwa, Clara Bohitile, Loini N Katoma); Tertiary Education and Vocational Training (Nahas Angula, Buddy Wentworth and Timothy Hadino Hishongwa, Vitalis Ankama); Finance (Nangolo Mbumba, Barmenas R Kukuri, Usutaaije Maamberua); Foreign Affairs and Information and Broadcasting (Theo-Ben Gurirab, Tuliameni Kalomoh and Gabriel Shihepo, Veiccho Nghiwete); Health and Social Services (Libertine Amathila, Richard Nhabi Kamwi, Kalumbi Shangula); Home Affairs (Jerry Ekandjo, Loide Kasingo, Niilo Taapopi); Justice and Attorney-General (Ernest Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, Albert Kawana, Lidwina Shapwa); Labour and Human Resources Development (Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, Rosalia Nghidinwa, Calle Schlettwein); Land, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (Pendukeni Iivula Ithana, Isak Katali, Frans Tsheehama); Regional and Local Government and Housing (Nicky Iyambo, Gerhard Tötemeyer, Samuel Goagoseb); Mines and Energy (Jesaya Nyamu, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Joseph Iita); Trade and Industry (Hidipo Hamutenya, Bernhardt Esau, Andrew Ndishishi); Environment and Tourism (Phillemon Malima, Peter Iilonga, Tangeni Erkana); Works, Transport and Communication (Moses Amweelo, John Mueneni Shaetonhodi, Tuli Hiveluah); Fisheries and Marine Resources (Abraham Iyambo, Alpheus !Naruseb, Nangula Mbako); Prisons and Correctional Services (Marco Hausiku, Jeremiah Nambinga, Mbeuta ua Ndjarakana). The new Minister for Woman Affairs is Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah (Deputy Minister for Woman Affairs: Marleen Mungunda, Permanent Secretary: Uitala Hiveluah). The Secretary to Cabinet is Frans Kapofi. Further members of the third Cabinet are the Secretary-General of SWAPO (Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba, not any more in the position of a minister); the Minister of State for Security (Peter Tshirumbu Tsheehama); the Auditor-General (Fanuel Tjingaete) and the Director-General of the National Planning Commission (Sarah Kuugongelwa, Permanent Secretary: Hanno Rumpf). Ben Amathila loses his former position as a minister and remains member of the National Assembly. He later replaces Zephania Kameeta as Deputy Speaker who becomes the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia. Mosé Penaani Tjitendero remains the Speaker of the lower house of Parliament. Chairperson of the National Council is Kandy Nehova (Deputy Chairperson: Margareth Mensah).
The new National Assembly experiences a different political party landscape. The DTA and the UDF establish a coalition. Thus they are the second strongest political force in the house and become the "official opposition". The second strongest single party is the Congress of Democrats (COD).
01.04. The former Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy, Klaus Dierks, and Chairperson of the newly established Electricity Control Board (ECB) makes the ECB known to the public. The ECB is an independent regulatory authority of the entire electricity industry in Namibia. It will be responsible for the regulation of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, import and export as well of the determination of electricity tariffs and quality control. Deregulation of the energy sector will improve its efficiency, promote competition and reduce monopolies. It will also minimise electricity prices. One of the highest priorities is the utmost promotion of renewable energies like solar energy, wind power and biogas generation, especially in areas where there is no connection to the power grid as yet. In accordance with the Electricity Act No.2 of 2000, the ECB will be independent of the Ministry for Mines and Energy.
05.04. The Minister for Finance, Nangolo Mbumba, tables the Budget for the Financial Year 2000/2001. The budget mirrors again the difficult economic situation caused by Namibia’s participation in the war in the DRC and the involvement in the civil war in Angola. The budget makes provision for an expenditure of N$ 8 400 million, (N$ 7 715 million for 1999/2000), an increase of 9% against 1999/2000. The budget makes provision for the introduction of a Value Added Tax (VAT)(15% for normal, not VAT free goods and services; 30% for luxury goods) which replaces the General Sales Tax (GST) before the end of the year (27.11.). The tax decrease is compensated by nearly N$ 290 million from customs and levies from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) which marks an increase of 28% against the previous financial year. The expected deficit of N$ 760 million is estimated with 3,6% of the GDP.
19.05. Namibia’s involvement in the wars in the DRC and Angola is criticised by some Nordic countries, without taking into consideration that these African peace keeping actions are a necessary way to end these conflicts. Some of the foreign interventions border at direct interference into Namibia’s internal affairs. One example is the threat by Finland to reduce her donor assistance to Namibia. The Finnish Ambassador, Kari Karanko, who is one of those meddling in Namibia’s political matters, is asked to leave the country. The acting Foreign Minister Tuliameni Kalomoh refuses to give an official reason for this (13.07.).
06.06. Rössing Uranium, a transnational firm of parent company Rio Tinto Zinc, threatens to retrench employees, due to the low Uranium world prices.
09.06. A scandal arises when some Angolese members from a music band from the Osire refugee camp are arrested while they intend to play at a party event of the COD. A court decision to set the arrest aside is ignored by the Minister for Home Affairs, Jerry Ekandjo. Ekandjo threatens to withdraw all work permits of judges who are not Namibian citizens (26.07.) and expresses the view that even judges are not above the law. Consequently one of the High Court judges leaves the chair during a running court session (28.07.). The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, Theo-Ben Gurirab, announces that the Minister of Home Affairs merely used his constitutional right to express freely his opinion (02.08.). President Sam Nujoma meets a delegation of High Court judges and cools down the emotions (04.08.). At the end the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Ernest Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, renounces Ekandjo’s utterances and the Minister of Home Affairs has to put forward an apology to the judges (07.09.). However, Ekandjo is defended by the chairperson of the SWAPO Youth League (17.09. and 02.12.).
14.06. In the light of the "Zimbabwe land crisis" and the demands by Ovaherero Chief Kuaima Riruako for German compensations for the Ovaherero for their sufferings during the German-Namibian War from 1903 to 1909, some western governments put the Namibian Government under pressure to clarify the land issue. The Namibian Government announces officially that the land question will only be solved on the basis of the Namibian Constitution.
The oil concern, Vanco Energy Company, gets an oil exploration license from the Ministry of Mines and Energy (National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR)). The offshore concession straddles the Namibe Basin of the Kunene Prospect (License Area: No. 1711: 2,2 million acres). The reserve estimate is 733 million barrels for the Kunene Prospect and 2,2 billion barrels for the Hartmann Prospect. The oil expectations open the possibility for a new north coast port in the vicinity of Angra Fria.
22.06. The Minister for Home Affairs, Jerry Ekandjo, refuses to answer an official parliamentary question of the COD. After a ruling by the Speaker, Mosé Penaani Tjitendero, Ekandjo is forced to submit a reply (28.06.). A further COD question to the Prime Minister is also not answered by him but referred to one of the backbenchers. (06.07.).
25.06. The alliance between Namibia, Zimbabwe and the DRC is strengthened during a meeting between Presidents Nujoma, Mugabe and Kabila in Harare.
10.07. In order to show solidarity with Zimbabwe, Namibia boycotts the OAU Summit Meeting in Togo. However, Namibia support Libya’s initiative to establish the "African Union (AU)".
12.07. The Electricity Act No.2 of 2000, takes effect.
14.07. The Namibia Road Fund Administration (RFA), the Roads Authority (RA) and the Namibia Roads Contractor Company (RCC) are officially established by Prime Minister Hage Geingob. The event is witnessed by the former Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Oskar Valentin Plichta (Plichta dies on 29.06.2001 in Windhoek) and Klaus Dierks who masterminded the MWTC2000 Project, which was launched in 1995 to reform the Namibian road sector as well as the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication by the year 2000. The RFA is the regulator of the system and will administer the Road Fund which is fed by the Road User Charges. The RA will be responsible for the management, planning and design of the national road network. The RCC is run on private sector principles and will take over all road construction and maintenance units of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication. The Chief Executive Officer of the RFA is Erich Gaoseb. The directors of the Board of Directors are Gerson Katjimune, Harald Schmidt and Vicky Richter. The Chief Executive Officer of the RA is Justin Runji. The directors are Nama Goabab, Engelhard Haihambo and Lucia Hamutenya. The Chief Executive Officer of the RCC is Farhad Nadimi. The directors are Rosa Kavera, Tjeripo Hijarunguru and Mwahafar Ndilula.
02.08. The bail applications in the high treason court case against the members of the secessionist Caprivi guerillas are rejected. The court case is postponed until January 2001.
06.08. During the summit of heads of state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Windhoek, President Nujoma declares his support for Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
29.08. Solomon "Jesus" Hawala becomes the Supreme Commander of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF)(with effect from 01.12.).
06./08.09. Namibia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Theo-Ben Gurirab, who was elected as Chairman of the UN General Assembly for the period 1999/2000 in 1998, relinquishes the chairmanship for the 54th session of the Assembly. At this occasion the session is jointly chaired by President Sam Nujoma and the Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, representing the next chairing country.
11.09. It becomes known that more than 80 UNITA prisoners-of-war are kept in a prison camp at Dordabis, southeast of Windhoek. The Government announces that these persons will be deported to Angola (14.09.). Due to ongoing negotiations with the International Red Cross this order is not put into effect.
15.09. The former Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy, Klaus Dierks, and Chairperson of the Electricity Control Board (ECB) puts the most comprehensive Website on Namibian engineering and history on the Internet. This databank on Namibia is the result of decades of research.
20.09. Namibia’s involvement in Angola’s civil war demands many civil casualties, especially in the Kavango Region. Until to-day 130 landmine cases are reported in the Kavango. The economic life in the region is drastically effected by the war. Marauding UNITA bandits abduct and execute many civilians.
29.09. The Minister for Home Affairs, Jerry Ekandjo, provokes strong reactions when he declares that homosexuals have no constitutional rights to be protected (this expression is repeated by him in the National Assembly on 02.11.). A consequent motion of no confidence by all opposition parties in the National Assembly is rejected by majority vote.
09.10. President Nujoma expresses during a summit meeting with Presidents Dos Santos, Mugabe and Kabila in Windhoek dismay that there is no progress in the implementation of the cease fire agreement of Lusaka (07.07.1999).
14./16.10. A conference takes place in Johannesburg between the southern African liberation movements African National Congress (ANC), Frelimo (Mozambique), ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe), MPLA (Angola) and SWAPO. The conference calls on African unity and condemns neo-colonialism and foreign interference into African matters.
.November During 1969 the former SWA Department of Water Affairs had investigated the feasibility of a substantial catchment dam at the Popa Falls in the Okavango River near Divundu (the Divundu Hydro Project), the Ministry of Mines and Energy suggests now an environmental approach into such project and proposes to construct a low-level weir that allows for no water abstraction but constant intake levels. The Popa Falls Hydro Project provides for a 30 MW hydro power station in a channel on the eastern side of the river which generates renewable energy. The ecology of the Popa Falls and the Okavango River system will be retained.

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The Popa Falls in the Okavango River near Bagani, Caprivi Region
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

08.11. The Minister for Finance, Nangolo Mbumba, tables an Additional Budget for the Financial Year 2000/2001. This Additional Budget is again mainly caused by additional expenditures for the Namibian participation in the war in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC)(N$ 187 million). This brings the Defence Vote to N$ 804 million. Consequently the Defence Vote nearly doubled from N$ 442 million to more than N$ 800 million and represents 9,17% of the total expenditure.
22.11. President Sam Nujoma participates in the International Smart Partnership Conference in Malaysia. Following this event he travels to the People’s Republic of China (22./28.11.) and to North Korea (28.11./30.11.).
29.11. During a visit to Germany and Austria Prime Minister, Hage Gottfried Geingob, calls on the two governments to assist Namibia in the solution of the burning land issue. Geingob stresses that Namibia would need N$ 500 million in the next five years to initiate a sensible land reform. No concrete commitments are made.
22.12. A new Traditional Authorities Act, No. 25 of 2000 becomes law. Subsequently to the two acts on traditional authorities (Traditional Authorities Acts, No. 17 of 1995 and No. 25 of 2000) create the base for 34 traditional authorities since 17.04.1998 until 17.04.2001:
1. Afrikaner Traditional Authority; 2. Bakgalagadi Traditional Authority; 3. Batswana ba Namibia Traditional Authority; 4. Blouwes Traditional Authority; 5. Bondelswart Traditional Authority; 6. Damara Royal House Traditional Authority; 7.Gciricu Traditional Authority; 8. Ju|’hoansi Traditional Authority; 9. Kai||kaun Traditional Authority; 10. Kambazembi Royal House Traditional Authority; 11. !Kung Traditional Authority; 12. Kwangali Traditional Authority; 13. Mafwe Traditional Authority; 14. Masubia Traditional Authority; 15. Mayeyi Traditional Authority; 16. Mbanderu Traditional Authority; 17. Mbukushu/Hambukushu Traditional Authority; 18. Mbunza Traditional Authority; 19. Ombalantu Traditional Authority; 20. Ondonga Traditional Authority; 21. Ongandjera Traditional Authority; 22. Otjikaoko Traditional Authority; 23. Oukwanyama Traditional Authority; 24. Sambyu Traditional Authority; 25. Soromaas Traditional Authority; 26. Swartbooi Traditional Authority; 27. Topnaar Traditional Authority; 28. Uukolonkadhi Traditional Authority; 29.
Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority; 30. Uukwambi Traditional Authority; 31. Vaalgras Traditional Authority; 32. Vita Royal House Traditional Authority; 33. Witbooi Traditional Authority and 34. Zeraua Traditional Authority.
The Traditional Authorities Act, No. 25 of 2000 provides also for the legal frame for the handling of disputes by the Council of Traditional Leaders which was established in terms of the Council of Traditional Leaders Act, No.13 of 1997. Between 1998 and 2000 various disputes were investigated: 1. Maharero Royal House (Chief Alfons Maharero) against Tjamuaha Royal House (Chief Frederik II Tjamuaha): It was resolved that Alfons Maharero should be the Chief of the Maharero/Tjamuaha Royal House; 2. Kuaima Riruako and others versus the Namibian Government: Riruako demands a position of "Paramount" Chief of the Ovaherero, a position which is not provided for in the Traditional Authorities Act, No. 25 of 2000. Riruako also does not recognise the Council of Traditional Leaders and asks for 48 additional traditional authorities. It was thus decided in 1999 that the case should be closed because the Council could not get any cooperation from Riruako; 3. Dispute between the Ovazemba community versus the Uukolonkadhi Traditional Authority: It was resolved during 2000 not to recognise the small Ovazemba group which came from Angola some time ago as a separate traditional authority;
4. Khwe community versus the Mbukushu/Hambukushu Traditional Authority: It was decided in 2000 that the small San group of the Khwe should not be separated from the Mbukushu but is allowed to practice their culture, customs and language freely. The applicant of the case, Kippie George, had fled the country in 1999; 5. The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority versus the Ombandja group of Okalongo: In 1999 it was concluded that the small group of the Angolese Ombandja community could get the status of a traditional authority; 6. The Goliath group versus the Isaak group of the Berseba Orlam (|Hai-|khauan): After consultations the longstanding dispute between the two clans was put aside in 2000; 7. The Riemvasmaker community versus the Damara Royal House Traditional Authority: In 2000 it was decided that the Riemvasmakers could not get a special group status but that they are allowed to practice their culture, customs and language freely; 8. The grievances of the San groups of the Hai||om (Kunene Region) and the !Xoon groups (Aminuis): The earlier case could not be resolved, in the latter case no special status was granted to the !Xoon; 9. The Mayuni community versus the Mafwe Traditional Authority: Due to insufficient knowledge on the matter the Council of Traditional Leaders could not reach a resolution. Further investigations are required.
Postscript Africa has the distinction to be a continent which now is widely regarded as the cradle of mankind. Similarly Namibia's history is very old and did not begun with the advent of the European colonialists. Although it has to be admitted that the colonial era of the last 150 years before 1990 has coined the modern time of the country and was experienced by the Namibian people as an extreme painful epoch. But, this period has been mastered with the independence of the country. Namibia builds now a multi-racial and multi-cultural society which has overcome the racial, ethnic and religious divide of the past. This society can serve as an example to the world. Namibia's history also doesn't end with the year 2000. The "Chronology of Namibian History" has to be extended one day by a future generation.
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