26 Aug 2015 15:30pm
HEROES ACRE, 26 AUG (NAMPA) - Zambian President Edgar Lungu reaffirmed Zambias commitment to further strengthening its neighbourly relationship and friendship with Namibia, as well as to exploring other areas of cooperation for the benefit of both countries.
Lungu is in Namibia to attend the commemoration of the 49th Heroes Day on Wednesday, which included the interment of the remains of three veterans of the liberation struggle - Anton Lubowski, Moses //Garoëb and Peter Mweshihange.
Heroes Day, commemorated on 26 August 1966, marks an important landmark in the history of Namibias struggle for independence.
This day not only signifies the beginning of the protracted armed resistance, but also a vivid reminder that the freedom the country now enjoys was attained at a great cost and through much sacrifice.
Many compatriots lost their lives, while others were maimed and many more left traumatised.
As we salute the fallen heroes who selflessly laid down their lives, we also honour the living heroes for their commitment to the ideas of democracy, justice, good governance and the rule of law, which continue to influence the way of life in present day independent Namibia, Lungu said during the event.
The Zambian president said he was proud to state that Zambia proudly, but selflessly, contributed to the liberation struggle of southern Africa and in the wisdom of its founding father and first President Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
We resolved that in the absence of freedom and liberty in our neighbouring countries and beyond, the true value of Zambias own independence would be meaningless, he added.
To this effect, he said, Zambia not only became a rear base particularly to the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), the military wing of the Swapo Party, but also a safe haven for many ordinary Namibians.
It was during the struggle for Namibias independence that freedom fighters lost their lives on Zambian soil.
Seven liberation struggle heroes remains have been repatriated from Zambia and Angola and buried at the Heroes' Acre.
The remains of former Swapo Central Committee members Natalia Mavulu, Homateni Kalwenya, Isack Pondo Shikongo, former military council members Peter Eneas Nanyemba, and Augustus Nghaamwa McNamara were repatriated by the government from Angola.
The remains of Swapo Central Committee members Putuse Apollus and Linekela Kalenga were also exhumed in Zambia in April.
Lungu assured Namibians that his government remains committed to ensuring that those freedom fighters who are still buried in Zambia will equally be accorded heroic and decent burials.
The invaluable sacrifices of all our heroes and heroines undeniably set a solid foundation for a new dispensation of democratic governance and economic development. The hope we therefore desire and the freedom we long for now, is that of economic emanicipation, he said.
Hundreds of people packed the Heroes Acre national monument for the commemoration of Heroes Day and the interment of the remains of the three veterans of the liberation struggle.