Whatever happened to the Military Council?
Some members of the Swapo Military Council, the body that served as a vehicle for Namibia’s liberation have seemingly been forgotten today.
The now defunct Council drew up strategies for the operations conducted by the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) during the liberation struggle.
Its members were either regional commanders or political commissars while others were chosen by merit of their vast experience in the struggle.
Twenty-nine members of the MC are still alive today and of these, not more than five - made it into government or to any other top echelons of society while the rest are ordinary people yet these are the heroes whose contribution to the liberation should never be questioned.
These are the people who don’t even boast about it; people who are not supposed to queue for employment and their offspring are not supposed to be short of scholarships because they gave up everything for the sake of Namibia.
Their cars don’t even have the high priced VIP sticker, yet the members of the MC really gave us the freedom.
The MC created the Operational Command Headquarters (OCHQ) when the war intensified and after the Cassinga attack.
The OCHQ was independent of the civilian set up and reported to the Defence Headquarters in Lubango from where it directed the day-to-day activities of all regions, battalions and special units under its command.
This was where Commander Dimo Hamaambo and his deputies, PLAN chief political commissar, chief of staff, chief of operations and other chiefs of different departments operated from.
One of the MC’s mammoth task and responsibility was directing operations against the South African Defence Forces and UNITA, which was under instructions to disrupt supply routes by planting mines and conducting ambushes.
During its time, the MC, one of Swapo most solid branches sacked only one member, true testimony of how united the council was.
The MC’s last meeting was on 20 February 1989 in Lubango to wind up the activities of PLAN as well as strategise on the next move on the demobilisation and training of personnel after demobilisation; deployment of troops and the monitoring of PLAN forces by UN forces.
Apart from this, the MC scored several other successes among them, appointing general staff members and commanders of various units, centres and establishments, appointing regional commanders, commissars and regional staff members and appointing defence representatives to friendly countries.
Yet in spite of all this, MC members are nowhere in charge of the political and economic discourse today.
Going through the list of the MC members alive today, many are unrecognisable and most of them refuse to comment on record about their fate.
Could that be the reason why we have a lax in certain leadership positions in this country? That those entrusted to lead us today, do not have the real scars from the struggle for liberation?
The MC prepared leaders since it dealt with political situation inside the country, political mobilisation and understanding of the populations inside the country, political and material support to Swapo and to PLAN, particularly inside the country, atrocities committed by the apartheid forces against the local population,
estimation of the enemy’s strength (capabilities, armaments, equipment, morale and deployment) and looked at the capabilities of own troops (strength, armaments, morale, health, training, deployment and survival means).
MC members still alive:
1. Sam Nujoma: Swapo President, commander-in-chief of PLAN and chairman of the Military Council, 2. Solomon Hawala: PLAN deputy commander, 3. Fillemon Malima: PLAN chief political commissar, 4. Ananias Angula: member of cc, 5. Aira Shikwambi , 6. Ndaxu Namoloh: Ho Chi Minh PLAN chief of staff 1979-1989, 7. Martin Shalli PLAN: chief of operations (1980-1989) and (Military Council Secretary 1977-1989), 8. Matias Ndakolo Mbulunganga: north-eastern front commander, 9. Hamutenya Nandenga Zulu: northern front commander, 10. Jonas Shiweda: PLAN deputy chief of logistics, 11. Patrick Mwinga: PLAN chief of training,12. Eloby Amundaba: PLAN chief medical services,13. Sacky Kapulwa Kapuleko: OCHQs logistics chief, 14. Erastus Negonga Zicky: NW front commander, 15. Thomas Shuuya Mapaya: northern front commander, 16. Peter Nambundunga Cosmos: PLAN chief of logistics., 17. Martin Iifo: NE front commissar, 18. Niilo Taapopi Kambwa Kashilongo: 1st mechanised brigade commissar, 19. George Kaxuxuena Chicken: NE front commander, 20. James Awala Manghuiya: PLAN chief of intelligence, 21. Clemense Kashuupulwa-Mondjiva: NE front commissar, 22. Lucas Kulandata-Situation , 23. Ekonia Ndafenengo-Kambwela, 24. Epafras Ndaitwah-Denga Nokweendelela: military advisor to the CIC, 25. Mwetufa Mupopiwa-Cabral: administrative secretary at DHQs, 26. Veicco Nghiwete-Shoonyeka: Northern front political commissar, 27. Elisa Haulyondyba-Hailonga: chief of military tribunal, 28. Andrew Intamba-Bongy: PLAN chief of AAD, 29. Ndaiponhofi Shaduka-Lakela: PLAN chief of medical services
Deceased Members of the Military Council:
Peter Nanyemba – Ndilimani: Swapo secretary for Defence at the time of his death, 1st April 1983., Maxton Mutongolume: Swapo secretary for Transport
Richard Kapelwa Swapo deputy secretary for Defence
Greenwell Matongo: PLAN chief political commissar at the time of his death 1979, Ehresfrede Jeombe – Baby: NF commander at the time of his death1984, Jonas Haiduwa: PLAN deputy commander of the Armed Forces at the time of his death 4th May 1978, Augustus Nghaamwa– McNamara: PLAN chief of communications at the time of his death 1982, Helao Nafidi – Camilo: PLAN chief political commissar at the time of his death 1981, Isack Shikongo-Pondo: PLAN chief of Intelligence and was the acting commander of Plan at the time of his death August 1981 , Patrick Iyambo-Lungada: PLAN deputy commander of the armed forces, David Uushona: -Discipline Commander-Commander of the Police (PLAN), Peter Mweshihange: Swapo Secretary of Defence, Philip Hainana – Shikoka: Plan Chief of Reconnaissance at the time of his death , Uuno Shaanika – Kanana: NW Front Commander, David Mbango Political Commissar NW Front at the time of his death 4th May1978, Jackson Patrick Kakwambi , Amunyela wa Shalale, Titus Shithigona – Mwailepeni: Plan Deputy Chief of Operations, Dimo Hamaambo – Dimo: Commander of the Armed Forces, Junias Mlukeni – Jungle Fighter Political commissar NW Front, Peter Tsirumbu Tseehama, Elia Shilongo Haipinge (Expelled From MC) Former NF Commander, Sanherb Amaalwa- Shikololo: Plan Chief of Intelligence and Reconnaissance, David Kamwi: – Regional Commissar NF at the time of his death April 1984, Wilbard Tashiya – Nakada: NW Front Commander at the time of his death 4th May1978, Hamutenya Ndadi Wanehepo, Michael Ashipala-Danger-Northern Front Commander, Festus Shakaria-Nopoudju:-NE Front commander, Tauno Hatuikulipi: Deputy Chief Political Commissar on ideology and mobilisation at the time of his passing