What is the signiﬁcance of the 26 of August date on the Namibian calendar? And what are the characteristics that signify the dynamic and gravity of the 26 of August 1966 event? What ignited the political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle historical legacy?
For some better explanations, allow me to ﬁrst look at what is a colony. A colony according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is “a noun, mean a “country or area controlled politically by a more powerful and often distant country.”
Various African countries have suffered under colonial rules. Namibia is not exceptional. Colonialism is a noun, means “the belief in and support for the system of one country controlling another.” In another word, what kindled the bitter and protracted armed liberation struggle in Namibia, it is because of Namibia, the only country we had and continue to have on earth, was by then colonised by a foreign power namely South African colonial occupation apartheid regime.
Hence, Namibian from all walks of life supported the armed liberation struggle against the then notorious colonial occupation forces. It is thus, legitimate to believe that, the value of 26 of August 1966 calendar, is the collective victories (Glory) of the Heroes and Heroines of the Namibian Liberation Struggle. The martyrs and veterans whose “blood, tears and sweats waters our freedom.”
With regards to the characteristics that signify the gravity of the date, the most depicting characteristic among others is the; (1) Ongulumbashe Medal, SWAPO’s highest honour for bravery. This unique medal was created on 26 August 1985, to be awarded to PLAN commanders and combatants who had distinguished themselves through bravery at the battleﬁeld.
This distinctive medal is featuring SWAPO colours, ﬁve-pointed red star of victory, embossed with a pistol and pistol machine-gun, the weapons used at the historic battle at Ongulumbashe on 26 August 1966, which launched the armed liberation struggle. “Their blood lives, sweats and tears water our freedom.” The other profound characteristic, is the (2) establishment of Sialolwa (Oshatotwa) base in Kaunga Marsh, Southern Zambia, (3) the 1974 one hundred and seventy (170) volunteers who after military inductions (training) in Oshatotwa, requested the then Oshatotwa commander Augustus H. Nghaamwa (McNamara) to be militarily and logistically, prepared to voluntarily returned to Namibia to intensiﬁes the armed liberation struggle. (“Aakwiita, Iita Ihayitondokwa”) McNamara 1974.
The other characteristics are (4) the enormous sacriﬁces the people of this country have made to gain our country’s political independence 27 years ago.
E.g. kidnapping without trace, imprisonment without trial, in both Namibia and South Africa, kept in detention without trial, mahangu ﬁeld destroyed, women and men became widowers and widows, many children became orphan without parents, the Cassinga, Oshikuku, Oshatotwa, Vietnam, Brand burg, old- location massacres of our innocent people by the then Apartheid colonial regime in this country, is a record which cannot be forgotten.
To legitimate the above statement, below are some of the name lists of some of the martyrs of the liberation struggle; 1. Brendan Kangongolo Simbwaye, 2. Alfeus Weshitile, 3. Wilbart Tashiya (Nakada),4. Isack Ndeshitiwa Shikongo (Pondo), 5. Augustus H. Nghaamwa,(McNamara), 6, Jason Hamutenya Ndadi (Wanehepo), 7. Peter Eneas Nanyemba (Ndilimani), 8. Nabot Helao Naﬁ di (Camilo), 9. George Mutakuti, 10. Natalia Ndahambelela Mavulu, 11. Greenwell Matongo (Green), 12. David Kamwi, 13. Homateni Kalwenya, 14. Lineekela Hailundu Kalenga, 15. Erenried Jeomba (Baby), 16. Peneyambeko Hashoongo, 17. Tobias Hainyeko, 18. Phillipus Hinana (Shikoka) 19. Raymond Buswalelo, 20. Putuse Meekulu Apollus, 21. Jeckson Nantanga (Lunganda), 22. Eliaser T. Kakuti, 23. Johannes Simon (Ningilila) just to mention a few.
It is on record that many sons and daughters of the soil lost some parts of their bodies in the battle against colonialism, much more live with foreign objects in their bodies, including comrade Nkrumah Mushelenga. To the youth of this beloved country, the records speak for themselves.
The colonisers knew that unity is strength. Hence, they executed Bantustan system of governing on our people. They destroyed the African comprehensive Ubuntu democratic centralism system and imposed inferior tribal complex believe in the mind and heart of our population thus, subjecting them to divide and rule policy. Our forefathers could not win the war against the invaders because of our traditional leaders by then, were in gauging the enemy at the battleﬁeld, mostly on a tribal strategic basis.
The message to the heroes and heroines the brave sons and daughters of Namibia is that your fathers, mothers’ gland fathers and mothers, elder brothers and sisters, have accomplished the then most difﬁcult national task, to bring about the political independence of Namibia.
We are thus, expected to be proud of such collective national achievements. Oshipango shakalunga oshitine (4). The fourth God’s (4) commandment, “Simaneka ho nanyoko opo wukale nomwenyo omule kombandayevi” our message to the sons and daughters of the soil, is that lets all of us be guided by the fourth commandment of God (Exodus 20:12), (Ephesians 6:1) and 6:4 respectively, and by our unique traditional values.
The struggle for our God-given economic resources from the minority into the hands of majority black community is and remains at centre Programme of the SWAPO Party government. We commend the traditional and church, leaders, for their inspirational welfare role, during and after the liberation struggle in uniting the people of this country against the occupying forces and evil forces of tribalism.
The media for exposing the inhuman treatment, the corrupt and tribal practices during and after the independence of this country. The governing system would not have discovered the deliberate criminal intent which is caved in a secret protected comfort zone of strategic government institutions, had the media not exposed such evils.
The message of hope from the late Comrade Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo is and remains explicitly clear. “The struggle will be long and bitter, but my people will emerge victories. Namibia is blessed to have amidst us, many founders of SWAPO Party, the wisdom of which the young generation of this country can preserve for future generational leadership. Corruption and Tribalism: We believe that the two acts are complimenting each other. The synonym of corruption is “dishonest, exploitation, bribery and fraud” Meanwhile, the synonym of tribalism is “ethnic, family and ancestral”.
It is for this reason that the President of the Republic and the SWAPO Party Dr Hage Geingob has time and again advised tribal leadership, and national politicians, not to promote tribalism in their community. Not only that, the President has in fact declared war against corruption and tribalism. We commend the President for his commitment to uphold and protect the Constitution of this great country, for declaring war against corrupt practices and tribalism, for a beﬁtting pension, for food bank, for voluntarily declaring 20% of his salary for poverty eradication programme, for ﬁnding beﬁtting durable solution to the plight of the children of the liberation struggle, for getting Namibia on top of the world map through international relations advocacy, for the ﬁve (5) pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan for Namibia economic development programme.
Similarly, we commend the then PLAN Commander-in-Chief Comrade Sam Nujoma for his democratic centralism quality leadership during and after the Namibia’s protracted liberation struggle.
Similar appreciations go to the then SWAPO Party both internal and external leadership for the safeguarding of unity of purpose during and after the bitter struggle for Namibia’s political independence 27 years ago. In the same vein, we applaud the senior and junior commanders of the then People’s Liberation Army of Namibia Plan, the military wing of SWAPO, for your inclusive leadership, during the liberation struggle of Namibia. Legitimately so, remember, that there is no a commander without soldiers, and no soldiers without commanders.
All Namibian from all walks of life, are expected to join the Commander in- Chief of the Namibian Defence Force His Excellency President comrade DR. HAGE Geingob in a minute of silence during the morning of the 26 of August 2017. The minute of silence will be in honour of the sacrifices and braveness of the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle. For “their blood, lives, tears and sweats waters our freedom.”
This date is digniﬁed by the characteristics of people’s revolutionary struggle, rivers of blood, spirits of nationalism, heroism and to greatly extend bravery. Namibia is by her political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle led by SWAPO of Namibia, designated as a land of the brave. What do brave means? According to Cambridge Advanced, Learner’s Dictionary a “person who had performed beyond human expectation during an unpleasant, difﬁcult situation” “She faced the consequences bravely”.
The impression I am getting from this deﬁnition is that one has to be brave before you become a hero or heroine.
Hence, we are all expected to converge in the Town of OSHAKATI Oshana Region, to pay respect to those “whose blood, lives, sweats and tears water our freedom” the heroes and heroines of the land of the brave.
The SWAPO Party liberation struggle is characterised by all-inclusive national oriented structures namely; politics; diplomatic and indeed the armed liberation struggle. Interestingly, the three clusters have common aims and objectives which were, and continue to complement each other. The founding father of the People’s Republic of China comrade Mao Tsetung describes “war as an extension of politics.”
If this description is wealthy to go by, then we endlessly command the SWAPO Party for navigating the Party political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle to the expectation of the Namibian people. We ask God the Father, to bless the SWAPO Party founding fathers and mothers with more wisdom to live longer, to guide the current generation, during the second phase of the struggle for economic emancipation.
For the youth, the ball is in your court. We have levelled the ground for political, diplomatic and economic battles; the turn is yours to admire, appreciate and adopt what the veterans of the liberation struggle have collectively political achieved and used unity and discipline modules, as an inspirational example for your generation and the generations to come.
We commend the then OAU Liberation Committee, the then Frontline States, the Cuban Revolution, the Non-Aligned countries and indeed, the peace loving international communities, for their solidarity support during the protracted, bitter struggle for the liberation of mother land Namibia.
For the incoming SWAPO Party Congress, our position is ﬁrm, not because we want to protect comrade Hage Geingob as the President of Namibia, but also as a way of consolidating the aims and objectives of the SWAPO’S Party liberation and postcolonial legacy. The records indicate that SWAPO Party Presidential candidate is entrusted with the implementation of the Party manifesto throughout his or her terms of ofﬁce as President of Namibia and the SWAPO Party.
Some views are that he is just an acting President, while some are of the opinion that he is the President of the Party. Who is right and who is wrong? None.
Comrade Hage is part of the ﬁrst SWAPO Party generational leadership. He should be given the respect he deserves just like his predecessors. The incoming Congress should not divide the Party cadres.
It is an in-house issue which should be carefully and inclusively diagnosed by Founding Father, the Former President and indeed the current President before it becomes a political football.
In the central time, we continue to identify ourselves with the Party Organs that have declared comrade Dr Hage G. Geingob as the sole SWAPO Party Presidential Candidate. We believe in collective achievements. May God bless Namibia the land of the brave!