RUNDU – Namibian leaders have described the late Marco Hausiku as a humble man who contributed massively to the country’s liberation struggle and public service. Hausiku died on Heroes’ Day (26 August) in Windhoek’s Rhino Park Hospital after being hospitalised for almost two months, aged 67.
He was diagnosed with Covid-19 at the beginnning of July, and died of post-Covid-19 complications. President Hage Geingob said “the passing of comrade Marco Hausiku, a highly dependable freedom fighter and disciplined servant of the Namibian people and Swapo, is devastating. I extend on behalf of the government and the party sincere condolences to his wife, the children, family and comrades”.
Current Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on Saturday described the late Hausiku as an icon of discipline and a compass for the Swapo party’s ideals.
“Regardless of the crisis, he remained calm and clear-minded. ”The president of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), Panduleni Itula, said he lost a struggle companion.
“Never have I felt a loss of a struggle companion as much as when this potentially curable disease is allowed to engulf and rob our country of some of our best institutional memories.”Many Namibians from all walks of life say they have learned from his teachings and advice, but to the people of the Kavango regions, Hausiku was a hero.
“It’s devastating and heartbreaking to lose comrade Hausiku when we as a young region needed him the most. He was a humble person, a good listener and a man of few words. He was our all-season pillar of strength and wisdom,” said Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku. Ausiku said being a teacher by profession and a founding member of the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU), education and impacting knowledge onto others always came first to the late former Deputy Prime Minister.
“He was a voice of reason and our hero. To depart on Heroes Day summed up who he really was. Although we’re mourning his passing, we’re at the same time celebrating his teachings, and his legacy will remain with us. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” she noted.
Mukwe constituency councillor and chairperson of the Kavango East regional council Damian Maghambayi described Hausiku as a gallant giant and an icon of Namibia’s liberation struggle, saying he was the mirror of the Swapo party in the Kavango regions in particular.
“He played a critical role in terms of mobilising members to join the party as well as in terms of mobilising resources to dispatch the youth and students who went into exile. This was a man who stood tall and firm in Swapo, and his contribution for total independence is unquestionable,” he said.
Maghambayi added that the late Hausiku was a father figure to people in Kavango in a manner that he has always been there to advise them, and that he was one of the gentlemen who wanted things to be done in a more transparent manner.
“He never involved himself in shady dealings, or would you hear that he was questioned because of anything. He was transparent and wanted things done by the book. He liked to socialise and make jokes. I remember when the party became divided, he was one of the campaign managers who also addressed us during my election campaign in 2020. He called on party members to stand tall and avoid the issue of fragmentation or groupings. That was Marco for you, and he called a spade a spade,” he reminisced.
Maghambayi said along with the late Raphael Dinyando, late Maurus Nekaro and the late Alfons Dikuua, these gallant giants knew how to coordinate with other Swapo offices in exile so that they could organise how students from Rundu could depart via Botswana to Zambia and Angola.
“Mind you, that time the security apparatus of the then South African army was tight, but these guys managed to send students into exile. So, these were the men that we from the Kavango regions describe as our founding fathers of our liberation struggle, especially in these regions where they made everyone to be brave and believe in justice as well as in creating opportunities to free Namibia from colonialism,” he continued.
“I will describe him as a man of integrity, honesty and a man with prudent good governance. He has been there; we have seen wherever he touched, things would just go well. He was a true hero, and for him it was Namibia first before himself. This honest person that we have lost can only be described as an honorary man,” Maghambayi stated.
“He was our role model, he was a teacher, lecturer, intellectual giant and above all a freedom fighter,” said former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) leader in Kavango East, Paulus Mbangu, who now serves as Rundu Rural constituency councillor and is also a teacher by profession.
Swapo parliamentarian Sebastian Karupu said Hausiku was one of the leaders who was actively involved in the mass mobilisation of the Namibian masses to support Swapo’s efforts in fighting for the total freedom and independence of Namibia.
“He was among those who were arrested and detained in prisons, including house arrest, before independence. Hausiku was one of the main speakers at the first-ever Swapo public rally in Rundu, with Joshua //Hoebeb (former governor of Kunene),” Karupu said.
“In 1989, Hausiku was appointed Swapo’s director of elections for the then Kavango region. After the elections, he was part of the Constituent Assembly who wrote the Constitution of Namibia,” he observed.
Hausiku was part of the first Parliament of Namibia, and was appointed Minister of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation.
He also served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communication. Later on, he became Minister of Prisons and Correctional Services before he was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
His last assignment in government was the position of Deputy Prime Minister. After retiring from government, he continued to serve as Deputy Secretary General and rector of the Swapo Party School until his death. He leaves behind his mother, wife Toini, six children and three siblings.
Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa said Hausiku’s unique intellect and capacity to focus on issues exemplified his boundless spirit. “Today, we mourn a hero, a party stalwart and son of the soil. May the angels receive our comrade with grace, and comfort his wife and family,” she said.
-Additional reporting by NAMPA