• August 4th, 2020

'Repatriate remains of our parents' struggle kids

Aletta Shikololo

WINDHOEK – Children of the liberation struggle whose parents died in exile want government to repatriate the remains of their parents who died in Angola and Zambia and recognise them as children of war veterans. 

Children of the liberation struggle calling themselves as ‘Their blood waters our freedom’ claimed they are being neglected by the government despite the torture and the hardships they encountered with their parents while in exile.
In an interview yesterday, children of the liberation struggle said the war veterans that 
survived the war betrayed their parents by not repatriating their bodies back to Namibia and forgetting to recognise them as children of exiled Namibians. 

Some of the deceased war veterans that are still buried in exile are such as Greenwell Matongo, Tobias Hainyeko, Nakada Shikololo, Natalia Mavulu and hundreds of others too numerous to mention. 

One of the children of the liberation struggle, Borro Ndungula who was born in exile and whose parents died during the Cassinga massacre asked why the government has named streets and locations after their late parents if they neglected their children and abandoned their remains in exile.

He said, “Even in the national anthem when they sing ‘Their blood waters our freedom’ they are referring directly to our parents but why do they praise our parents when they have forgotten the children of those people?”

According to Ndungula, about 8 000 children of the liberation struggle are part of the Namibia Exile Kids Association (Neka) however, among those kids, there are privileged ones whose parents survived the war and became ministers.
But he said there are those struggle children whose parents died in exile and they are the ones that are apparently forgotten by government. 

“Children of the liberation struggle do not have the same problems and not all of them benefited from the government. The government only recognized those who were born from 1990 and forget those who suffered in exile with their parents,” he added after saying they deserve support from the government because they are also included in the Veteran Act, 2008, Section 5.

According to the Veteran Act, 2008, Section 5 “Deceased veteran means any veteran who, of whatever cause, died during the war or after the war irrespective of whether the death took place before or after the commencement of this Act and ‘dependent of a veteran’, in relation to a veteran means a dependent of a deceased veterans.”

Tuufilwa Sheehama, daughter of the deceased war veteran, Sakeus ‘Kakwele’ Sheehama said his father died in exile together with Nakada Shikololo and their bodies are still buried there and she wants financial help from government.
“We understand the financial status of the country but why did the government only repatriate some remains and leave others? We also know that war veterans that died in exile are a lot but if only the government could start repatriating every year, till they bring them all back in the country,” stressed Sheehama who was very emotional during the interview.
A senior from the Ministry of Veteran Affairs who preferred anonymity said the ministry has nothing to do with children who are born in exile and the repatriation of the deceased war veterans.

New Era Reporter
2019-05-24 09:22:20 | 1 years ago

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