President Hage Geingob said this year has brought much heartache and pain, leaving the nation’s resilience stretched to its limit.
Geingob said this on Friday during the memorial service of APP leader Ignatius Shixwameni held at Rundu in Kavango East.
Shixwamnei collapsed and died at Parliament in Windhoek on 10 November 2021.
He was buried in Rundu on Saturday.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila delivered Geingob’s speech during the memorial attended by hundreds of people.
“In a year which has brought much heartache and pain, in a year we have said many farewells, in a year where our nation’s resilience has been stretched to its limits, we once again gather under the clouds of sorrow, to pay tribute to a fallen Son of the Namibian Soil, Honourable Ignatius Nkotongo Shixwameni,” Geingob said.
He also asked how Shixwameni’s spirit as a compatriot can be summed up.
“What is his legacy? What drove him? What is it that makes him so deserving of this stately farewell accorded to him?” Geingob asked.
According to Geingob, Shixwameni was driven by the never-say-die Spirit of Pan-Africanism, a spirit that compelled him to fight for the freedom of his people, the independence of his country, and that is all he wanted and all he understood.
Geingob further said even after attaining independence, Shixwameni’s firebrand spirit continued to burn as his attentions turned to the Second Phase of the Struggle – that of economic emancipation of the Namibian people.
“From a young age, Honourable Shixwameni understood the society in which he lived and the suffocating atmosphere of Apartheid racism which was used to curtail the advancement of black Namibians, socially, intellectually and economically.
“He thus honed his leadership capabilities in his youth, distinguishing himself as a dependable cadre on whom his peers could rely on providing ideas for charting a path towards the improved livelihood and freedom of the Namibian people,” Geingob said.
The President added that Shixwameni was a dedicated builder of organizational structures and one who valued creativity and sought to mould the individual talent of his fellow cadres through the process of mentoring.
Geingob said that as a member of the Namibian National Students Organisation (Nanso) and later Swapo Youth League, Shixwameni served as Secretary, Honourable Shixwameni displayed courage unflinching resolve in his pursuit of liberty and justice.
Shixwameni’s active participation in anti-Apartheid rallies, Geingob said, marches and strikes resulted in him enduring harassment, detention, beatings and torture.
“However, this did not crush his spirit but only increased his determination to fight for freedom. After independence, Shixwameni continued to play an instrumental role in Namibia’s political and social spheres.
SWAPO & YOUNGEST MP
According to Geingob, Shixwameni’s wealth of knowledge, leadership skills and natural ability to mentor young people was again called upon when he served as Swapo Party Youth League Secretary-General from 1992 until 1998.
He was also a member of the Swapo Central Committee from 1992 until 1999 and the Party’s Secretariat from 1994 until 1997.
Up until his untimely passing, Shixwameni served as a Member of Parliament since 1995.
Shixwameni became a member of parliament at 29.
“He now leaves behind a rich legacy of hard work and commitment that many of our young Parliamentarians of today should emulate,” Geingo also said.
Shixwameni served on a number of crucial Parliamentary Standing Committees, among them the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security from 1996-1998.
He also served as the Deputy Minister of Information & Broadcasting from 1997 to 1999 before becoming the Secretary-General of the Congress of Democrats (COD) from 2000 until 2004.
In 2009, Shixwameni became the Founding Chairman and President of the All People’s Party (APP) and its leader in parliament from 2010 until the day of his passing.