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Remains of gallant fighters laid to rest at the Shrine of the Heroes' Acres

By Staff Reporter
A Memorial Service was held on Monday in honour of the veterans of the Namibian liberation struggle, whose remains were repatriated a few months ago from the Republic of Angola and the Republic of Zambia.

At that occasion the Founding Father and the Father of the Namibian Nation Dr Sam Nujoma gave tribute to the seven heroes and heroines whose remains repatriated to their motherland for reburial. "The struggle for the total independence of Namibia was long and bitter and we had to cross many rivers of blood in our path to freedom", said the Founding Father.

He went on to say that "with the hoisting of the flag of freedom in our motherland, many of our heroes and heroines of our national liberation struggle did not live to see the dawn of freedom and independence, on the 21st March 1990, because they shed their precious blood for the country of their ancestors and demonstrated the highest measure of patriotism and selfless sacrifice". Dr Nujoma reminded the nation that "on the eve of the 48th Anniversary of the launching of our armed liberation struggle at Omugwulugwombashe, on the 26th August 1966, to bid farewell to our heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for freedom and independence of our country and whose remains were repatriated from the Republics of Angola and Zambia respectively.

The Founding Father told the nation that he was reliably informed that, unfortunately, the grave of the late Comrade Penny Hashoongo, a former Swapo Women's Council Secretary who also died in Zambia, could not be identified but the process is ongoing to ensure that her remains are returned back home.

Dr Nujoma gave a good lecture to all and sundry about the eulogy of the late comrade Peter Nanyemba and other fallen heroes and heroines at the memory service, he said: "When the late comrade Peter Nanyemba, affectionately known as "Ndilimani Yomukunda Gwamupolo", passed on in a fatal and tragic road accident on the 1st April 1983, in my capacity as President of SWAPO and Commander- In-Chief of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), SWAPO's Military Wing, I had this to say: "The name of Comrade Peter Nanyemba will be written in the golden books in an independent Namibia.

"Today we are fulfilling that solemn promise as not only the name of the late Comrade Nanyemba is being written in the golden books in an independent Namibia, but also those of other gallant freedom fighters.

"Their remains 'were' also laid to rest at the Shrine of the Heroes' Acres, a National Monument which serves to honour the bravery, steadfastness, sacrifice and dedication to our heroes and heroines. "These heroes and heroines are those who have sacrificed their precious lives for the protection and defence of our motherland and for the noble cause of fighting for freedom and independence that we are enjoying today.

"The late comrade Eneas Peter Nanyemba was one of the founder members of both the Ovamboland People's Organisation (OPO) and SWAPO and in all endeavours he distinguished himself as a highly competent and talented leader.

"The late comrade Nanyemba was elected in January 1970 to the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of SWAPO as its Secretary of Defence. This was done at the SWAPO Consultative Congress, held at Tanga, in the United Republic of Tanzania and he held this position until his fatal and tragic road accident in Lubango, Angola.

"The Late Comrade Nanyemba was indeed a brilliant military tactician and strategist, as well as a rapid thinker, capable of grasping and taking quick action in order to contain any enemy eruptive situation. "The very significant contribution which he made to the building and consolidation of SWAPO and its Military Wing, the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), is in its self a towering monument to his fearlessness and brilliance as an organiser, and to his commitment and dedication to the cause of the Namibia's freedom.

"Indeed, he has greatly contributed to the training, growth and strengthening of PLAN from a force of Platoons to a popular Army of Companies, Battalions and Brigades, capable and prepared to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy forces". Dr Nujoma went to say that "much could be said about each one of our fallen heroes and heroines whose remains we (have laid) to rest tomorrow, especially on their contributions and personal sacrifices to Namibia's National Liberation Struggle.

He applaud the Namibian Government's decision to bring the remains of "our gallant freedom fighters back home to the land of their forbearers for which they laid their precious lives and for giving them a befitting and dignified Heroes' burial. Dr Nujoma paid homage to the late SWAPO's Secretary of Defence, Comrade Nanyemba, to Commander Isak Pondo, Commander McNamara, Secretary Kalwenya, Secretary Mavulu, Secretary Appolus, and Secretary Kalenga. "Indeed, in our path to freedom, we had to cross many rivers of blood".

The Founding Father also expressed his appreciations and gratitude to the Governments and peoples of the Republics of Angola and Zambia, for the assistance and all round support rendered to Namibia's Joint Technical Committee during the entire process of the repatriation of their remains to Namibia.

He also paid homage to the Namibians fearless forefathers who inspired them to follow in their footsteps such as Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi, Jacob Marenga, Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva, Chief Samuel Maharero, Chief Nehale lya Mpingana, Chief Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Chief Iipumbu ya Tshilongo, Chief Hosea Kutako, including the Late Kakurukaze Mungunda, Brendan Simbwaye, Tobias Hainyeko and all the fallen heroes and heroines. "Indeed, in our path to freedom, we had to cross many rivers of blood." DR Nujoma reminded the nation that "we have completed the political struggle for freedom and independence. Now we have the greatest task ahead of us, that of the struggle for economic independence. This struggle requires unity of purpose and action".

He called on children to make sure that all attend school from kindergartens to universities in order to produce enough qualified agriculturalists, mining engineers, quantity surveyors, geologists and marine biologists and ensure the eradication of poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance from among our people in Namibia, in the entire African continent and those in the Diaspora.

"Now is the right moment to unite all our people and work for a better future of our country. Now is the right occasion to renew our determination to build our country and now is the right time to speed up the building of our nation wherein all Namibians enjoy an improved quality of life. Let us therefore spear no effort and energy to make a better Namibia, a better Africa and a better World for all human being to live in. May the legacies of our heroes and heroines live on", Dr Nujoma concluded.

Seven veterans of the Namibian liberation struggle reburied

In honour and remembrance of all heroes and heroines, from different epochs of our history President Pohamba paid tribute to the seven veterans of the Namibian liberation struggle who were reburied at Heroes Acre on Heroes Day. They are:

1. Comrade Eneas Peter "Ndilimani" Nanyemba, who was a Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of SWAPO and its Secretary of Defence. He died on the 1st of April 1983 at Lubango, in Angola;

2. Comrade Walde Homateni Timoteus Kaluenya, who served as a Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of SWAPO. He died on the 20th of December 1980, in Angola.

3. Comrade Isak "Pondo" Shikongo, who was a Member of the Central Committee of SWAPO and PLAN's Military Council as its Chief of Intelligence. He died in combat, on the 27th of August 1982.

4. Comrade Natalia Ndahambelela Shikangala Mavulu, who was a Member of the Central Committee of SWAPO. She died on the 4th of July 1977 in Angola.

5. Comrade Augustus "McNamara" Nghaamwa, who was a Member of the Military Council and Chief of Communications of PLAN. He died in combat, on the 20th of December 1982.

6. Comrade Putuse Appolus, a nurse and one of the first Namibian women to go into exile, who was a member of the SWAPO Women's Council and the SWAPO's Central Committee. She died on the 28th of October 1986, in Zambia.

7. Comrade Lineekela Kalenga, who was a member of the Central Committee of SWAPO and its Secretary of Education. He died on the 27th of June 1981.

"May their souls find serenity here in their own country. Their blood continues to water our freedom and sustain us to achieve greater things for our country".





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