WINDHOEK - President Hage Geingob yesterday beseeched Namibians to safeguard the hard-won freedom by rejecting all forms of hate speech, ethnicity, tribalism, racism and divisive language that incites violence.
Geingob made this clarion call during the 53rd commemoration of heroes held at Otjiwarongo, in the Otjozondjupa Region as Namibians in their thousands commemorated Heroes Day. August 26 is the day on which combatants of the then South West Africa Liberation Army (Swala), the forerunner to the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia, Plan, fired the first shots in 1966 in northern Namibia.
The long and bitter war lasted for 23 years and Heroes Day is celebrated every year to never forget the sacrifices and efforts of all the proud Namibians who fought for freedom and self-determination.
The day was among others attended by the Founding Father Sam Nujoma and former President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“Namibia is our country, the only country we can call home-protecting Namibia for our future generations is a shared responsibility -we must ensure that under no circumstances will we throw away the beautiful gift that was given to our people by God, a gift for which thousands fought and died for,” Geingob stressed.
He said the bravery of Namibian heroes and heroines ensured political independence, but heroism doesn’t end with hoisting a flag and a national anthem.
“It is up to us to pick up the baton and continue the race in order to deliver on the urgent promise of economic emancipation,” said the Commander-in-Chief of the Namibian Defence Force.
“It is for this reason we adopted a policy of national reconciliation, to heal the wounds caused by a past defined by a bitter struggle and to take the country down a new path of nation building,” he added.
He said government will continue to encourage Namibians to embrace each other and hold hands, to face the future together and to work for the achievement of a prosperous and peaceful future for all.
“As I often state, countries go to war, when diplomacy fails. Through continuous dialogue, I believe we will always find common ground. I must admit, following my recent series of Town Hall meetings across all 14 regions of our country, the spirit of unity and patriotism is well entrenched within our society,” he said.
“I commend the many Namibians from all walks of life, who participated with maturity, tolerance and empathy for one another. Despite divergent views, we are holding hands to acknowledge our successes, face our challenges and pull in one direction towards a better future,” he added.
Geingob said Heroes Day is more than just a day to remember valiant heroes and heroines.
“It is also a day for us to celebrate the selfless feats of men and women and the legacy they have left behind,” he said.
He said the country’s Father of the Namibian Revolution, Dr Sam Nujoma once said, “their sacrifices must inspire all Namibians who were fortunate and privileged to witness the dawn of independence and indeed future generations, to build a better Namibia, where all her people can realise their fullest potential.”
Indeed, Geingob said their heroic battles and sacrifices will continue to inspire many, as “we build a more inclusive, united and prosperous Namibia”.
Geingob said as citizens celebrate Heroes Day, they must solemnly invoke the revolutionary spirit of Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi, Kaptein Jacob Marengo, Chief Hosea Kutako, Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva and Chief Samuel Maharero.
Also, he said Namibians must solemnly invoke the revolutionary spirit that of Chief Nehale lya Mpingana, Chief Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Chief Ipumbu ya Tshilongo, Hompa Nyangana WaMukuve, Hompa Kandjimi Hawanga, Brendon Simbwaye and Mama Kakurukaze Mungunda.
“We recall all the battles at which Namibians perished, such as the battle at Hornkranz, the battle of Ohamakari, the battle of Namutoni, the battle of Lishora and the battle of Kamenga. We also recall those who lost their lives during the atrocity at the Old Location,” Geingob said.
2019-08-27 07:15:53 27 days ago