November 1989 Namibia's 11-month transition to independence is completed when the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) party wins U.N.-supervised elections for the Namibian Constituent Assembly.
March 1990 Namibia officially becomes independent from South Africa. SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma becomes president, the constitution comes into effect, and the Constituent Assembly becomes the National Assembly.
July 1990 The Office of the Ombudsman is established as an independent, autonomous office charged with investigating allegations of violations of fundamental rights and freedoms or abuses of power by government officials.
June 1991 The government launches a program of redistributing Namibia's arable farmland, almost half of which is owned by a few thousand white farmers. The program is based on the principle of "willing-buyer willing-seller," which means land owners are not forced to sell but, if they do, the government has the right of first refusal.
March 1992 The Labor Act is passed to address inequalities in the country's employment and income levels. The act also prohibits discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
August 1992 The Regional Councils Act and Local Authorities Act become law, repealing most of the discriminatory legislation and decrees enacted during Namibia's pre-independence, apartheid days, establishing statutory bodies that did not exist before independence, and reforming those already in existence.
December 1992 Newly established regional councils and local officials are chosen in the country's first post-independence elections.
January 1995 The Wage and Salary Commission is set up to conduct a review of the pay structure of the public service to improve efficiency and eliminate discrimination. In December, the commission's recommendations are approved by the Cabinet, and committees are established to oversee implementation of the recommendations.
August 1996 The Cabinet establishes an ad hoc inter-ministerial committee to develop a program to combat governmental corruption. The prime minister launches the committee in March 1997.
June 1997 Following several antigovernment demonstrations, President Nujoma announces a ban on all demonstrations not authorized by the police. Following a legal challenge, the government agrees not to enforce the law on which the ban is based, but does not repeal it.
September 1998 The Affirmative Action (Employment) Act is put into effect, outlining measures designed to promote equality in the workplace.
October 1998 The government launches an attack against separatist rebels in the northeastern Caprivi region of the country after discovering a rebel training camp. The rebels, known as the Caprivi Liberation Army, are believed to be supported by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA - União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola) movement in Angola, which fought against Namibian independence in the 1970s and 1980s. Thousands of Caprivi residents, claiming persecution by government forces, flee to neighboring Botswana, which grants them asylum.
December 1998 The National Assembly passes a constitutional amendment allowing President Nujoma to seek a third term in office.
July 1999 The ruling SWAPO party criticizes a proposal to establish a South African-style truth commission to investigate crimes committed by South African security forces and Namibians during the country's liberation struggle. Two years earlier, the government spurned a request by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to hold hearings on human rights abuses committed and "disappearances" during that period of Namibia's history.
August 1999 The government declares a state of emergency in Caprivi after the Caprivi Liberation Army launches attacks on government installations in Katima Mulilo. The state of emergency allows government forces to detain people indefinitely without visitors or the right to appear before a court. The Namibian National Society for Human Rights reports that hundreds have been arrested and subjected to various forms of torture. Defense Minister Erkki Nghimtina admits that security forces committed human rights violations in the arrest and detention of suspected rebels but insists that most of the violations occurred only in the first few days immediately following the attacks. Nghimtina promises to discipline security force members who mistreat detainees. Former opposition MP Geoffrey Mwilima is severely beaten by security forces during the fighting.
September 2000 Home Affairs Minister Jerry Ekandjo tells police to "eliminate" gays and lesbians "from the face of Namibia."
October 2000 An amendment to the Legal Aid Act, which provides legal assistance to civil or criminal litigants unable to pay for a lawyer, removes courts' power to order the provision of a legal aid attorney.
March 2001 The government announces it will stop advertising in Namibia's only daily newspaper, The Namibian, because of the paper's perceived antigovernment bias.
March 2001 While speaking at the University of Namibia, President Nujoma declares gays and lesbians a "national threat" and calls for their arrest and deportation.
January 2002 After an almost-nine-month investigation, the Office of the Ombudsman reports instances of graft and favoritism occurring at the Social Security Commission, the government body in charge of administering social-insurance and social-assistance programs. The investigation uncovers instances of nepotism, conflicts of interest, and gross abuse of commission funds and traveling allowances.
February 2002 The upper house of Parliament rejects draft legislation to establish an independent anticorruption commission, opting instead to assign the commission's duties to the Office of the Ombudsman.
May 2002 Members of both the private and state-owned media adopt a code of ethics, appoint a new media ombudsman, and create a media-monitoring project focusing on issues of bias.
August 2002 In what many view as an attempt to tighten his grip on the country's media, President Nujoma takes control of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to, as he claims, address technical problems at the state-run Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
September 2002 President Nujoma orders NBC to stop broadcasting programs that portray the country in a negative light or that have a negative influence on children.
February 2003 The Office of the Ombudsman heralds the launch of the National Integrity Promotion Program, a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that will promote and sponsor anticorruption initiatives throughout the country.
April 2003 The National Assembly passes the Magistrates Act in an effort to increase the impartiality and independence of the judiciary. The act creates a Magistrates Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the appointment and functioning of magistrates and other presiding officials of the lower courts.
October 2003 The trial of 122 defendants accused of treason-related crimes during the 1999 Caprivi uprising resumes after a delay of more than a year. Twelve defendants have died in custody since August 1999.
November 2003 A presidential commission begins holding public hearings into allegations of kickbacks and other irregularities at the Roads Authority and Road Fund Administration, agencies that collect taxes from motor vehicle owners to administer and maintain Namibia's roads. The commission's report includes recommendations that could significantly change the operations of agencies that maintain Namibia's roads. In April, the chief executive officer of the Roads Authority prevented auditors from scrutinizing his office's books after employees came forward with allegations of misconduct.
November 2003 The National Assembly releases the country's first assets register for lawmakers. Officials disclose information regarding salaries, pensions, shares of stock, company directorships or ownership interests, debts, real property holdings and bank accounts, as well as travel discounts, gifts, sponsorships and other fringe benefits.
December 2003 The U.N. Convention against Corruption is signed. Parliament ratifies the convention in August 2004.
October 2004 The National Assembly adopts the Prevention of Organized Crime Bill. The aim of the law is to increase the capacity of public agents fighting against money laundering, criminal syndicate and gang activities, the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
November 2004 Presidential elections are held. Hifikepunya Pohamba wins the elections as the leader of SWAPO and the chosen successor of Former President Nujoma, who declared that he would not run for presidency in these elections.
March 2005 Pohamba is inaugurated as president.
September 2005 Former Deputy Minister Paulus Kapia resigns because of allegations of corruption. The allegations against him include misappropriation of government money and illegal payments to SWAPO members. Lazarus Kandara, a businessman who is allegedly involved in the scandal, shoots himself while he is in police custody.
October 2005 The government establishes the Anti-Corruption Commission.
November 2005 The government suspends Geryy Munyama, director general of state-run NBC, and accuses him of embezzlement. Later the former director is released on bail but his case remains ongoing.
September 2006 Police, together with the Anti-Corruption Commission, arrest Deputy Director of Wildlife Management Sackey Namugongo, who is accused of issuing illegal gambling licenses.
February 2007 The director of the Anti-Corruption Commission announces that it will soon start an anticorruption awareness campaign and a toll-free phone number.
February 2007 Customs and Excise Officer Stephanus Owoseb is arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission. He is accused of accepting bribes from a fruit wholesaler to allow him not to pay import duties.