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Title: Zemba  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Ethnic groups in Angola, Ethnic groups in Namibia, White Angolans, Mbunda people
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Zemba are an indigenous people, and reside in Angola and also in Namibia. They often live together with Himba communities.

There are various spellings and pronunciations of the name: Ovazemba, Zimba, Dhimba, Tjimba, Chimba, etc. However, when spelled Tjimba or Chimba in English, it generally refers to the Tjimba people, hunter-gatherers who belong to the Zemba tribe.

Human Rights

February 2012, traditional Zemba issued a human rights complaints declaration[1] to the Government of Namibia, the African Union and to the OHCHR of the United Nations that lists violations of civil, cultural, economic, environmental, social and political rights perpetrated by the Government of Namibia (GoN).

September 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples visited Namibia. He stated that in Namibia there is a lack of recognition of the minority indigenous tribes' communal lands.[2]

November 23, 2012, Zemba communities from Omuhonga and Epupa region, together with the Himba people, protested in Okanguati against Namibia’s plans to construct a dam in the Kunene River in the Baynes Mountains, against increasing mining operations on their traditional land and human rights violations against them.[1]

March 25, 2013, Zemba joined over thousand Himba people to march in protest again, this time in Opuwo, against the ongoing human rights violations that they endure in Namibia. They expressed their frustration over their chief not being recognized as a "Traditional Authority" by the Government of Namibia,[1] plans to built the Orokawe dam in the Baynes Mountains at the Kunene River, culturally inappropriate education, the illegal fencing of parts of their traditional land, the lack of land rights to the territory that they have lived upon for centuries, and against the implementation of the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002. [3]


  1. ^ a b c "Declaration of the Zempa People of Namibia". Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  2. ^ "Statement of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, upon concluding his visit to Namibia from 20-28 September 2012". Retrieved 2012-Nov 28-12. 
  3. ^ "Himba, Zemba reiterate ‘no’ to Baynes dam". Catherine Sasman for The Namibian. Retrieved 2013-March 26-13. 
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