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Home / Opinion: Kalume-Kadoro-Sibbinda: Step-villages of the struggle

Opinion: Kalume-Kadoro-Sibbinda: Step-villages of the struggle

2021-07-02  Prof Makala Lilemba

Opinion: Kalume-Kadoro-Sibbinda: Step-villages of the struggle
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In many political discourses and pronouncements of heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for the Namibian liberation struggle, no one is always mentioned; despite the fact, these villages had their share in freeing the country.

On 22 June 1968, PLAN fighters waylaid at Nansansa, a stream about 3km south of these villages and around 22hrs moved to Finaughty Store. They passed through Sibbinda Primary School and on arrival, they asked the then kapitao (seller), the late Modius Libanda to open the store. He initially resisted but finally did so at the point of an AK 47. In the process of taking food from the shop, Hon. Jesaya Nyamu is reported to have stepped on the bottle and had to be carried by other combatants. In 1992, in the company of the author, on a regional council nominations at Sibbinda, Hon. Nyamu insisted that they should have been a shop in the area, which confirms that indeed the incident took place.

The area produced gallant combatants like Boniface Sikendwa Lukato (alias Chasunda), who died around August 1979, Boniface Wamuluba Kutelo, who sacrificed his life in 1982, both in exile. 

In 1989, the area received heroes like Joel Makanyisa and his family from exile. Unfortunately, old man Joel and his two sons and two daughters passed on and three are buried in Kalume village. Up to now since his demise in 1998, his grave and those of his two sons are not marked and have not received any veteran status. At least his daughter, Theresia Kahundu Nkunkumo has been accorded such status, maybe because Rome was not built in a day. 

Albius Bayole while living at Singalamwe in 1968 fed Tobias Hainyeko, the time the latter was living in a hideout, which is still visible in Singalamwe. Bayole was arrested when the South African Security Forces were informed about his role in assiti8ng the freedom fighter but managed to escape with handcuffs. Finally, Bayole has had enough of harassment and he skipped the country to join the liberation struggle in exile. He only came back in 1989 with other returnees. 

He remains buried in Kalume village and has been honoured by the Veteran Affairs Ministry. Ms Muhau Kuwaya is also a heroine who came back and lives in Kadoro. Ms Kuwaya and others crossed Kwando River on foot one night in 1968 until they reached Imusho in the Western Province of Zambia. From Imusho the Zambian Army took them to Kalongola where they crossed into Senanga Refugee Camp, where she stayed for two weeks before leaving for Mayukwayukwa. She stayed there for three years until she left for Maheba Refugee Camp. In 1973, she was posted to another SWAPO Refugee Camp, Old Farm, near Lusaka, where she served as a cook for students and combatants. 

Ms Kuwaya stayed at Old Farm for two years and in 1976 moved to Nyango, which they constructed from the scratch. In August 1980, she was among the people who left Nyango for Angola. Upon arrival in Angola, she was sent to Tratando where she was tasked with caring and cooking for the children. She stayed at Tratando for a year and in 1982, she was sent to Shinghunghu where she was tasked to cook for the elderly. In 1983, she was transferred to Lukunga where she stayed for two years.  She was again transferred to Lubango at a camp called Mulamba and stayed there for six months, upon which she was appointed as a political commissar at Shinghunghu until 1989 when she and others were repatriated back to Namibia after the UN Security Council Resolution 435, which led to the independence of Namibia on 21 March 1990.

A group of CANU cardholders from this area were hunted down by the South African Forces and despite the fact that they left Namibia to work on the South African mines, were followed and apprehended there and interrogated. It was only through divine intervention that they were finally released. These included Sylvester Tuombale Mundoe, Richard Mulindilwa Muchana and Clement Makumbi Kutelo. 

Late John Misika Chizimbo and many others like Albert Mutibi Linyunga attended CANU meetings in Katima Mulilo during its formation in the early sixties. Brian Mpulila and his elder brother Raymond, were also CANU card sellers and political activists of those days. The late Gilbert Muinehande Tomu was also a Swapo stalwart. He was actively involved in the selling of CANU cards in the early sixties. 

Despite being in the echelons of the government, the late Francis Munduba Mungu, remained a staunch member of Swapo and assisted other comrades in terms of materials and other necessities. No wonder that he was accorded veteran status upon his demise. Mungu equally stood the taste of political time. Boers were always suspicious of him for being a Swapo member – and despite being a target, he never wavered. 

Because of the political activities around the villages, the South African regime established an army base in 1969 to monitor the activities of the PLAN fighters. The young Afrikaners soldiers walked almost naked and were nicknamed, “Basizwati” those who do not dress. The offsprings of these heroes and heroines have not benefitted from the veteran purse and the graves of Joel Makanyisa and his children need to be honoured!



2021-07-02  Prof Makala Lilemba

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