Councillor asks for Matongo’s remains to be repatriated

07 Aug 2015 10:20am
KATIMA MULILO, 07 AUG (NAMPA) - Bukalo Village Councillor Charles Siyauya has asked Government to repatriate the remains of fallen struggle hero Greenwell Simasiku Matongo from Angola.
Matongo was a former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighter, who died in combat during the clash between the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and South African forces at Onjiva in Angola on 15 June 1979.
PLAN was the Swapo Party’s military wing.
Matongo’s unmarked grave lies in Onjiva, which is situated 35 kilometres from Namibia’s Oshikango border post with southern Angola.
On Wednesday, Siyuaya made the suggestion to President Hage Geingob, who was meeting with the Zambezi regional councillors, Bukalo village councillors and Katima Mulilo village councillors, where he was listening to the views and challenges they face while leading the region
He asked Geingob why there is a delay in Government repatriating the remains of Matongo, as it was done for the seven other fallen heroes and heroines whose remains were exhumed and repatriated from Zambia to Namibia in 2014.
In April and May 2014 the remains of Putuse Leonora Dwyili-Appolus; Lineekela Ailundu Kalenga; Isack Pondo Shikongo; Eneas Peter Nanyemba; Natalia Shikangala Mavulu; Walde Homateni Kalwenya and Augustus Nghaamwa, whose remains were returned in May.
“I am thanking Government for its humanitarian work on repatriating the seven heroes and heroines from Zambia,” he said.
He added that he is however disappointed that among those who were repatriated, there was nobody from the Zambezi Region.
“I do not know whether graves are not marked or what happened and I refuse to believe that no one knows where the remains of Greenwell Matongo are, so I am a bit worried that not a single hero or heroine’s remains from Zambezi has been repatriated since the exercise started,” Siyuaya said.
He said the remains of Matongo need to be handed over to his family so they can accord him a dignified burial in Zambezi, or so that Government can rebury the remains at Heroes’ Acre in Windhoek.
In his response, Geingob said the repatriation is an ongoing process and not a once-off exercise. He added that it was not easy finding Nanyemba’s grave, as is the case with all unmarked graves where Namibian leaders are buried.
“Repatriations are ongoing and we are going to continue doing it until we find all our leaders. As you know, we can’t find them (liberation struggle leaders and soldiers) all at once and this is why we also ask people to help if they know the whereabouts of these graves.
“Nanyemba’s grave took 10 years to find. So it takes time, as during the wars we did not have well-built tombstones. It is true that Greenwell Matongo was one of the great soldiers, but do not despair as the process to find his grave is ongoing,” the President said.