Liberation struggle parts allegedly still forgotten

10 Aug 2019 12:30pm
OTJIWARONGO, 10 AUG (NAMPA) - Some recognised war veterans in the Otjozondjupa Region claim their deeds in and outside the country during the liberation struggle of the independence of Namibia have been forgotten by the government of the day.

The veterans, in interviews with Nampa recently, said several battles they participated in during the armed liberation struggle for independence of Namibia from 1966 to 1989 are never heard of, documented, or feature in any of the annually commemorated national holidays.

These heroes and heroines made their comments separately with this news agency in the lead-up to the Heroes’ Day commemoration set for 26 August this year at Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.

One such war veteran is 56-year-old Elago Johannes Immanuel, who is currently employed by the Ministry of Defence at Otjiwarongo. Immanuel, who held the alias Kavilikita, during the days of the liberation struggle, on Friday said some emotional and painful parts of the liberation struggle were never told to the nation in the past commemorations of the national Heroes' Day, Cassinga Day or Independence Day.

“We know who was with us. Some fighters went missing and some eaten by wild animals, yet their stories are never told to the nation. My wish is to see this nation remembering the liberation struggle journey in full and names of those fallen and alive heroes and heroines made public,” he said.

Immanuel joined the Swapo’s military wing, the People Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) in 1979 in Lubango and received training at the Tobias Hainyeko Military Training Centre in Angola.

He then participated in several military clashes with the South African armed forces in Angola and in the northern border between Namibia and Angola.

Former Grootfontein Mayor, Penny Mwazi, 63, also a war veteran and a trained artillery commissar on Thursday asked why the attack on Shatotwa camp in July 1975 is never heard of or commemorated as many PLAN fighters and civilian Swapo members were killed in that attack.

Mwazi joined PLAN in 1974 and said that the South African armed forces on 11 July 1975 attacked Shatotwa camp in Zambia with one or two helicopters at about 04h00, when it was still dark.

“It was still dark that morning when the enemy attacked us, and the camp was so big and divided into four sections,” she said.

Mwazi explained that the South African armed forces only stopped firing at the Swapo people in the camp after the PLAN combatants like her started to fight back bravely for nearly an hour to defend themselves and the young civilians in the camp.

Mwazi queried why some of these bitter and emotional stories forming part of the liberation struggle are never told to the nation, as if they did not happen.

She mentioned names of retired Army Brigadier-General Mathias Shiweda, Martha Shikalakuti, Shihepo Hamutele and Clement Mwala among others to have been witnesses of that attack on Shatotwa that morning.

Other Ex-PLAN combatants and war veterans such as Lieutenant-Colonel at the Otjiwarongo Military Base, Phillemon Namupala with a combatant name, Kamati Ka-Dave and Elias Nehemia who was also known as Kaseru during the liberation struggle days said these liberation struggle stories should be told for the nation to know the sacrifices that were made.

Namupala said him and other guerrilla members like Erastus Negonga, who was their front commander, Otto Shinyagaya, Amupolo Kayambu Amupolo, Jona Amunyela Judo and Petrus Nghilukilwa Kambuela had carried out numerous attacks on the former Oshakati South African military base in 1984 to 1989 as part of the fight for the independence of Namibia.