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Opinion: Nziba Mutotela and Makanga: Seats of struggle stalwarts

2021-06-25  Prof Makala Lilemba

Opinion: Nziba Mutotela and Makanga: Seats of struggle stalwarts
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After the Masida encounter and indaba, the PLAN combatants headed for Nziba and Makanga villages. At Nziba, the ground for mobilisation for the liberation struggle was more fertile, as Moses Malamo Manowa’s father, Mzilikazi Manowa Madebela, was a resident there. It was partly to accomplish the liberation struggle mission and reunion with the father. Thereafter, the South African Security Forces descended on Nziba, Mutotela and Makanga villages. The Security Forces broke into the houses and had no regard for privacy whatsoever and did not care about what people were doing during the middle of the night. The liberation stalwarts includes the following:

Lieutenant Colonel Zebedia Mwanawina Lufumile joined the Caprivi African National Union (CANU) in 1964 and mobilised the masses by selling membership cards to local people. He supplied food to freedom fighters and his cousin Cde Moses Malamo Manoah, who was a SWALA commander by that time. Cde Lufumile fled to Singalamwe where he crossed the border into Zambia to join the liberation struggle.  

Cde Lufumile left Makanga district in a vehicle driven by his late uncle Cde Maxwell Kulibabika who was employed as a driver at WENELA.  Cde Lufumile became a member of SWAPO Party in 1965 and thereafter joined the South West Africa Liberation Army (SWALA) in 1968 right after crossing the border to Zambia. He received his military training in North Korea in 1970 and specialized in infantry and became a Camp Commander of the Eastern front until 1979. He bravely fought and commanded the battle against the South African regime at Kamenga in the Singalamwe district in 1973. His combat name during the liberation struggle was “DS’’.

Quite a number of arrests were made of the following people:

Judea Lyabboloma Tubakwasa was called from a camp meeting of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and lured by the police officers that he would come back after questioning. He was also taken to Pretoria and never returned.  His wife was flown there to identify his corpse. It appeared as if the late Tubakwasa was starved to death and sustained an arm fracture.  His bones were up today never brought back to Makanga where they belong. The Zambezi region together with national leadership has honoured him by the Judea Lyabboloma Constituency named after him. 

Chilipeni Muyobololo was arrested and found himself in the company of Induna Masida on a braai fire. He was one of the earliest activists who were arrested for supporting and feeding the freedom fighters. He related that he came across the freedom fighters on a hunting expedition in the forest near Makanga Lake. He recognised the late Moses Malamo Manoah among the freedom fighters and agreed to bring them food. Government has honoured his activities by building him a house in Lufunje, Makanga.

Chrispin Taluso Mukena was arrested, tortured and later on taken sent to Pretoria to serve unspecified jail sentence for assisting freedom fighters.

William Kabunga Masule was arrested, taken to Pretoria and interrogated about his encounter with freedom fighters, particularly, Moses Malamo Manoah. He was among the first people to be arrested for his encounter with the PLAN combatants when he was on a hunting expedition. He was the grandfather of the current Linyanti Constituency Councillor.

Society Makumo, a semi-deaf man from was arrested and taken to Pretoria for interrogation. He spent some years in detention.

Reuben Chataa was arrested and tortured at Katima Mulilo Prison and later taken to Pretoria, where he went through bitter and painful ordeal in detention. He also narrated methods that were used during the interrogations in which many Mafwe inmates were killed for their support of freedom fighters. During his incarceration, he witnessed the shooting of the late Prince Benjamin Bebi

Malepule Muswana (commonly known as Chipulupulu), a dumb, was awakened from his sleep in the middle of the night, with his wife. When he resisted, the security forces started beating him, until he lost consciousness.

Isaiah Muhupulo Chizimbo: was arrested on the suspicion that he was feeding the freedom fighters like others in the village. His main crime was being Moses Malamo Manowa’s uncle, and he was supposed to know his whereabouts. He stood firm and told his torturers that there was no way in which he could deny that relationship. He was flown to Pretoria after being tortured in Katima Mulilo Police.  While there, he briefly shared a police cell with the liberation struggle icon, Brendan Kangongolo Simbwae, who he described to be a true nationalist. According to him, Simbwae demanded that the arresting authorities display the exhibits in the form of firearms of the suspects. In his farewell message, Simbwae told Chizimbo that they would never meet again as the South African Security Forces were going to kill him but he encouraged Chizimbo to carry on with the liberation struggle flame.

Others who were arrested and sent to Pretoria for detention included the following: Solomon Kanyanso Masule, David Mukutulo Makumo, NoahMuzilikazi Kachilitembwa and Manoah Madebela. Whereas government has managed to reward some of them in monetary terms, most of them went to their graves without the smell of the veteran monies. Their offsprings have been trying without success to apply for the money. They are still hoping against hopes, that the money will come along their way, but that remains to be seen. 

2021-06-25  Prof Makala Lilemba

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