Namibia should continue remebering its heroes and heroines: Wa-Kahimise

10 Aug 2019 16:10pm
OKAKARARA, 10 AUG (NAMPA) - Rahimisa wa-Kahimise, a founding member of the Swapo’s military wing, the South West Africa Liberation Army (SWALA), which became the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), has called on the nation to continue commemorating days that honour the heroes and heroines of Namibia's liberation struggle.

Speaking in a recent interview with Nampa, Wa-Kahimise, a recognised war veteran from Omutukururu in the Okakarara Constituency, said the nation should not forget the history of its political and liberation struggle as it is for these events the country gained its Independence from the apartheid system.

The 75-year-old Wa-Kahimise was an active military participant in the battles and undercover political activities from 1964 to 1968 before he was shot in the shoulder and captured.

Wa-Kahimise said it excites him to see the Heroes’ Day commemoration this year coming to Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region near his village.

The former PLAN combatant said his political career started in March 1963 after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi influenced him to join Swapo after they attended a Mega Swapo star rally in 1962 in the then Old Location in Windhoek.

He said on 15 January 1964, he and a group of young men left Namibia to Botswana and then through Zambia to Tanzania (Der eS Salaam), where he met the Founding President Sam Nujoma, Peter Nanyemba, Lazarus Pohamba, Steven Kaukungwa, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Elwald Katjivena, Epaphras Negongo, Tobias Hainyeko, Simeon Shihungileni and Jackson Kaukungwa, among others.

He said there in Tanzania at the Kongwa camp it was decided by Swapo that Wa-Kahimise, Mzee Kaukungwa, Josef Mutongolume and Jackson Kamanya among others would be sent for military and political training in China.

On their return to Kongwa in the late 1964, the group established SWALA before changing it to PLAN as Swapo's official military wing which was commanded by Nujoma as the Commander in Chief.

Mzee was made the army chief political commissar, while Wa-Kahimise was the first deputy political commissar and Mutongolume the second deputy political commissar.

They were then divided into sections and ordered to cross into Namibia to face the South African apartheid armed forces.

“My group in November 1967 attacked the Katima Mulilo Police Station in then Caprivi Region and other places in the Kavango East Region under the command of Abisai Hangome, Malamo Manowa and James Zambo,” he said.

However, Wa-Kahimise on 06 December 1968 in the area of Karukuvisa in the Kavango East Region was shot, injured and captured by the South African regime forces.

He was taken to Pretoria for medical treatment until 1970 when he was returned and placed under a house arrest in Windhoek until his release in 1972.

Wa-Kahimise said that same year he again started his underground political activities together with the late David Meroro, Janson Mutumbulwa and Daniel Tjongarero in Windhoek.

“All freedom fighters for this country had really suffered and our bodies still carry scares and steel irons upon today,” he said.

Wa-Kahimise then called on the nation to continue commemorating the national days of the liberation struggle as a way to remember those heroes and heroines, whose blood waters Namibia’s freedom.