By Nkrumah Mushelenga
WHAT is the significance of 26 of August on the Namibian calendar? And what are the characteristics that signify the dynamics and gravity of the 26th of August 1966 event? As we prepare for this national event, all Namibians walks of life are expected to hold a minute of silence on the morning of the 26 of August 2016, wherever you will be. 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 waters our freedom”.
26 of August is dignified by the characteristics of people’s revolutionary struggle, rivers of blood, spirits of nationalism, heroism and to great extend bravery. Namibia is by virtue of her political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle led by SWAPO of Namibia, designated as Land of the Brave. What does brave mean? According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary a “person who has performed beyond human expectation during an unpleasant difficult situation”. The impression I am getting from this definition is that one has to be brave, before you become a hero, or heroine.
26 August has been declared National Heroes’ Day. It is expected that this year, 2016, all heroes and heroines of the political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle, the sons and daughters of the soil, will be converging in Walvis Bay, to pay respect to those “whose blood and sweat waters our freedom”, the heroes and heroines of the Land of the Brave. People from all walks of life want to know the characteristics, of heroism in relation to the Namibian liberation struggle. What constitutes heroism and what criteria are being used to qualify individuals as heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle of Namibia?
Since the word hero is broad by definition, I would like to confine myself to a SWAPO Party political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle legacy case load, the situation of which I am more conversant with. The SWAPO Party liberation struggle is characterised by all inclusive nation-oriented structures namely; politics; diplomatic and indeed the armed liberation struggle. Interestingly, the three clusters have a common aims and objectives which were and continue to complement each other. The founding father of the People’s Republic of China comrade Mao Zedong, describes “war as an extension of politics”. If this description is anything to go by, SWAPO was responsible of devising persuasive and inspiring political information materials to solicit international community support.
Three generational leadership; It is and it remains a fact, that the SWAPO led protracted liberation struggle, was sustainably carried out by the three generational leadership, through what we term re-enforcement capability.
The first generation of the 1960 was small in number but highly political motivated with limited military capability. The second generation of the 1970 was large in numbers, young revolutionary inspired militants, better educated and political stimulated youths. We militarily added value through strategic re-enforcement capability at the battlefield. The 1980 generation which was less militant, young and academic motivated youths, the records, speak for themselves.
Institutional memories; SWAPO managed to establish viable management structures to oversee its revolutionary activities. Self-discipline and team work was at the core centre of our management style. The structures referred; Diplomatic sector, headed by comrade Theo Ben Gurirab and a team of young men and women. Labour sector headed by comrade Ben Amadhila and his team. Education sector; headed by comrade Nahas Angula and his team. Health; sector headed by comrade Albertina Amathila and her team. Information & Publicity sector; headed by comrade Hidipo Hamutenya and his team. At University level; United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN), comrade Dr Hage Geingob and his team, at the military front; commanded Peter Nanyemba Ndilimani and his team, all these functional visible dynamic units were under the leadership of Dr. Sam Nujoma and highly motivated by Ya Toivo’s famous statement “the struggle will be longer and bitter”. NNLVA formation: The 1st day of September 2010 remains a historical day in the SWAPO Party legacy. It is a day in which SWAPO as the governing political party and indeed the custodian of the liberation struggle legitimately recognised the Namibian National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA) as the authentic representative of the veterans of the liberation struggle. “Their blood waters our freedom”
NNLVA establishment: As the authentic representative of the veterans of the liberation struggle of Namibia, the NNLVA has the responsibility among others to inform, educate and entertain the veterans and the born frees about the SWAPO Party revolutionary culture – the culture of discipline, hard work and constructive criticism.
Based on numerous comments, complaints, questions, suggestions and recommendations from NNLVA members, the NNLVA management committee is busy working on a motivational educational programme as an incentive to inspire the undecided veterans to register for the NNLVA membership. There are currently more than 30.000 government recognised veterans of the liberation struggle.
Who is a veteran? The Veteran Act, 2008 (Act No. 2 of 2008 define a veteran as;
Any “person who was a member of the liberation struggle forces;
Has consistently and persistently participated or engaged in any political, diplomatic or underground activity in furthering of the liberation struggle;
Owing to his or her participation in the liberation struggle was convicted, whether in Namibia or elsewhere, of any offence closely connected to the struggle and sentenced to imprisonment, but does not include persons who during the war deserted the liberation struggle unless that person subsequently re-joined the struggle waged in Namibia and other countries by liberation forces against colonial forces and which struggle resulted in the attainment of independence of Namibia on 21 March 1990”.
MAY GOD BLESS NAMIBIA, THE LAND OF THE BRAVE!
Nkrumah Mushelenga RT. Commissioner for refugees & NNLVA National Coordinator
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015