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Who was Patric Iyambo Luganda? Part 2

By Sikunane Negumbo
One day she told me and my friend Wendelinus Tshimwandi that OPO as she put, led by the son of Helvi Kondombolo and Daniel Nujoma to help Aakwambi and Ovakwanyama to reinstate the kingdoms of the two ethnics. That time independence of Namibia to my mother was to bring back the power and the leaderships of the two kingdoms and Namibia to her was Ovamboland although she did not support the Boers and the chiefs who spearheaded the leadership of the Bantustan.

She said that the movement might bring back the glory of the black people in Ovamboland. My mother only came to understand what SWAPO was fighting for and what Namibia is in the 1970s when I informed her about it with the help of "Michael Tshikongo" (Patrice).

On the other hand, while the SWAPO leadership in exile was busy mobilising the international community for both diplomatic and military support, and preparing to send the military units back home, the leadership inside the country was busy preparing for a conducive environment for soft landing of the fighters by the brave apostles or evangelists of SWAPO who were busy crisscrossing the country, propagating the word of SWAPO, the word of liberation and salvation, the spirit of sacrifice and principle of "backward never" in the struggle and the necessities for people to fight the enemy in order to liberate the land from the racist South African colonial rule.

This evangelisation did not take place without harassments from the white South Africans using their agents such as the chiefs, the police and non-uniformed security agents. Those who braved themselves to fight for independent and liberty, suffered at the hands of the South African government agents and surrogates who ruthlessly beat them up, electrically tortured them and imprisoned them in unknown prisons or police camps.

In my area in Uukwambi district, there were many of these cadres amongst them we had brave SWAPO cadres such as Joachim Amahore, comrade Aron Embashu (Shoongambele), Kanutus Ingo and Max Mutshimba gwa Kandenge. In other areas such as Okatana, we had comrades Leo Tshoopala, and at Onatshiku and Oniimwandi we had Fidelis Laban, the son of Iipangelwa. At Emono there were the sons of Nambwandja. In Okalongo district, there was one of the fearless leaders in the name of Nathaniel Lot Homateni and later a young teacher Nestor Shanyengana emerged.

At meetings these groups were in the majority of cases reinforced by the senior SWAPO leadership in the region (Ovamboland) especially by comrade Kaxumba Kandola, Eliaser Tuhandeleni who was an accused number one during their "terrorist trial" in Pretoria, and whom as I was later told by Lungada, offered his house as the first SWALA reception military camp before SWALA members moved to Uuvudhiya in Uukwambi district and later to Omugulugwombashe in Uukwaluudhi district now in Omusati region and the comrades from Ohalushu in Oukwanyama district now Ohangwena region, who in the majority of cases started the revolutionary songs at the SWAPO meetings.

You must remember that the trial of the SWALA combatants in Pretoria was referred to as: the State against Eliaser Tuhandeleni & others. This is a very crucial thing to remember. I was a happy young man to work closely with the son of this brave man Noah Tuhadeleni in the seventies and more especially when we established a SWAPO Youth League branch at Oshakati in 1971, at which I was elected the chairperson and Sackeus Mbandeka Iipinge, as secretary.

Comrade Sackeus Mbandeka Iipinge was a very intelligent young man who matriculated at Oshigambo Secondary School. He later sacrificed his life for the independence of our mother land. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Remember that this time we already knew that tatekulu Tuhandeleni received the SWALA fighters at his place when they arrived in Ovamboland in Endola area, Uukwanyama district. His dwelling was used as a reception military camp for SWALA, the military wing of SWAPO. That apostle of SWAPO took a very dangerous and risk responsibility for accepting the fighters at his dwelling. He was not only risking to be arrested but most likely to be killed because he was committed to liberating our land.

During our meetings between me and Noah, privately or in the executive meetings, we never discussed all those things or about Lungada being taken care of by us in the village of my grandfather. But we talked about SWAPO and about his father. I suspected that he (Noah) knew that Lungada was with us in Otshikuku and Onatshiku (Elim) areas.

Comrade Patrick also advised me not to talk about him with comrade Noah Tuhandeleni or anybody else in our meetings. It was also difficult to discuss about Patrick with Noah, for he was not a talkative person but my judgement informed me that he was a well informed and clever person who only talked when necessary.

Before and after the battles of Omugulugombashe, Oshikango and Uukwangula, some leaders left the country and others were arrested and detained in Pretoria and banished to the notorious Roben Island in the racist Republic of South Africa. Some of those who were not banished to South Africa were put under house arrest such as Nataniel Maxwilili and others.

The scale of SWAPO activities went down a bit until the SWAPO Youth League took over the duties. These activities were spearheaded by amongst others comrades Jerry Ekandjo, Martin Kapewasha, Netumbo Nandi now Nandi Ndeitwa, Ndamono Ndeulita, Thomas Kamati, Natshilundo, Nashilongo Charles Namholoh, Tuuli Hivelwa, Noah Mieze, David Tshikomba, Jacob Nhgindinwa, Jacob Kashea, Noah Tuhandeleni, Valde Namunya, Sackeus Mbandeka Iipinge, Sam Shivute, Sikunawa Tshiponga Negumbo, Negonga Nangutuwala, Israel Iipumbu and many others that played crucial roles and whose names I cannot remember anymore.

Those were very radical and fearless SWAPO youth leaders. Comrade Benjamin Namalambo in Windhoek kept the SWAPO fire burning. That comrade suffered very much at the hands of the enemy while his fellow leaders were quiet during that crucial time. He was always in and out of prisons or detentions with his shirts red of his blood. He later passed on while in exile. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

There were also radical and uncompromised several student leaders at local secondary schools such as Odibo, Oshigambo, Ongwediva, Augustinium and St Joseph Dobra in Namibia and those who went to Universities in South Africa who fearlessly mobilised the masses of our people to keep the SWAPO fire burning. This articles is not intended to deliberately omit or ignore the names of comrades who had awoken the almost sleeping lion of politics in Namibia but to highlight what was happening to prepare the coming of Patrick Iiyambo and his comrades.

This article is about a giant liberation icon, a fearless and military tactician and like many others in SWAPO, a dedicated comrade. The author is trying to write about the life of Patrice Israel Iiyambo Lungada aka Michael Tshikongo during his seven years from 1968 to 1974 while he was a fighter and hosted in the environment or areas under discussion. When one reads this article, one should take into account that what is written here is only part of what comrade Patrick had done and what the author can remember. The author has also consulted people that he can remember were in the same cell during that difficult time of Patrick, complementing his natural intuition to avoid or prevent him from being killed or arrested by the enemy.

A person of his calibre cannot be described in a few words and may not be fully explained as to why he took some decisions. Different people will describe him differently, depending on how he had associated himself with them. I am quite sure that even amongst the people he associated with during the seven years around Otshikuku, Onatshiku (Elim), Oneeya, Ogongo, Okalongo and in the areas not under discussion, do not have a homogeneous picture of this comrade. During his seven years inside and outside of the areas as mentioned above, Patrick Israel Iiyambo established several cells that were only known by him. Iiyambo was a very sophisticated freedom fighter in such a way that it was difficult for an individual to know all his dealings.

He had positive slippery characters that made him survive for all the nine years the South African police were looking for or hunting him. It is very difficult for a person to discuss or write the whole story of Patrick Israel Iiyambo.One needs to consult the colleagues or members of the cells that Patrick Iiyambo established. It is unfortunate, however, that most of the comrades who supported Israel Iiyambo are no longer alive to tell this glorious story about a legend, fearless freedom fighter.

Those comrades who passed on are such as Simson Shivolo, Andreas Tshimwandi, Wendelinus Tshimwandi, Leonard Tshapumba, Gerhard Amunyera and Paulus Tshimwandi and others that I cannot remember now. Secondly, in the majority of cases it is ideal and appropriate to write about somebody when that person is alive so that he or she could say this and that in your article are not right or please add this to that topic.

There are many things that Patrick had done during his seven years at Otshikuku and its environment that could only be known for example by the then leadership of the party. Comrade Patrick also managed his cells of communication and execution of his activities secretly very well. Where necessary, he played the cards closest to his chest. But in most cases, he employed a separation standard management system when apportioning his information and or activities to his established cells.

This system is normally used in Air Traffic control management system in order to prevent aircrafts collusion in the air. In order to maintain safety in the Air, the air traffic administration establishes a minimum distances between flying planes in order to separate aircrafts.

NB: To be continued next week.


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura