By Confidente Reporter
EX-COMBATANTS that lived in Swapo’s Oshatotwa camp in Zambia before independence have come out strong accusing the ruling party of withholding their valuables including money they were reportedly made to believe would be kept for safekeeping until after independence.
The ex-combatants said that the monies in South African currency at the time was collected from them at various points around the camp in the mid-1970s by then PLAN chief intelligence officer Patrick Kakwambi on behalf of the party’s management with the aim that it would be exchanged and then saved on their behalf at the Bank of Zambia before its returned to them at an appropriate time or after independence.
The accusation comes after chronicles by Swapo youth league’s first president, Keshi Pelao Nathanael in which he described Swapo’s philosophy as “take all from the poor and give all to the rich”. Nathanael also revealed that Swapo leaders in exile collected money and valuable items from every individual arriving from Namibia with the promise that the party would help save the money for everyone and return it accordingly.
“The monies we had was in South African rands which would not work in the area. Later, the party leadership sent Patrick Kakwambi to collect all the South African monies we had for the party to exchange it for us at the Bank of Zambia and the World Bank.
“Kakwambi, PLAN’s chief intelligence officer as well as chief training officer of FALA, UNITA’s Forcadas Armadas para Libertacao de Angola, was the most trusted commander by the new arrivals as he had always tried his best to supply them with Zebra meat using the UNITA Land Rover in his possession… When the collection points were set up we all handed in our monies happily. Almost each of the thousands of Namibians who was there handed in his or her money and got properly recorded in books duly signed. Some handed in less and others more not knowing that we were being coned into separation with our monies for good. Anybody making an enquiry on the money was threatened with suspicion of having been sent by the enemy and a few were made to disappear in the process. This made the rest of us to stop asking,” narrated the ex-combatants.
Amongst those that handed in monies including businessmen were reportedly Ignatius Justus V. Hainana R35 000, the late Fillemon Moongo R20 000, Tulipohamba Nghidinwa R25 000, Immanuel Engombe R15 000, Gehas Shivute R10 000, Gabes Shipa R15 000, Simon Nakashole R15 000, Elieser Nakashole R15 000 and Ananias Komeya R2 000.
The ex-combatants are now demanding the party pays back their money but with accumulated interest (over the more than 40 years) to the living owners and relatives of the deceased at a rate of 10,5 percent.
“Today, after 26 years after independence, some of the victims are denied veteran status even in a Namibia in which no one would feel or be left out. They are forced to fend for themselves and their Swapo-held money could help them cope with their respective lives.
“The conned victims or their relatives need this money and Swapo party must arrange to repay it without delay.”
Contacted for comment, Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba said that the matter is news to him. “I was too young at the time and that matter I’ve never heard of before. Why are they only coming out now? They should just contact the right figures this message is intended for.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015