Nam freedom fighters buried in Zambia to get decent burials

HEROES ACRE: Zambian President Edgar Lungu re-affirmed Zambia’s commitment to further strengthening neighborly relationship and friendship as well as exploring other areas of cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Lungu is in Namibia to attend the commemoration of the 49th Heroes Day that falls on 26 August and the internment of the human remains of three veterans of the liberation struggle.

The 26 August 1966, is an important landmark in the history of Namibia’s struggle for independence.

This day does not only signify the beginning of the protracted armed resistance, but also a vivid reminder that the freedom the country now enjoys was attained at a greater cost and with much sacrifice.

Many of the compatriots lost their lives, while others were maimed and many more traumatized.

The day also witnessed the re-burial of the three icon of the liberation struggle, namely, Anton Lubowski, Peter Mweshihange and Moses Garoeb.

“As we salute the fallen heroes, who selflessly laid down their lives, we also honor the living heroes for their commitment to the ideas of democracy, justice, good governance and the rule of law, which continue to influence the way of life in the present day independent Namibia,” said Lungu.

“I am proudly to state that Zambia proudly but selflessly contributed to the liberation struggle of southern Africa and in the wisdom of our founding father and first President Dr Kenneth Kaunda, we resolved that in the absence of freedom and liberty in our neighboring countries and beyond, the true value of Zambia’s own independence would be meaningless,” he said.

To this effect, he said, Zambia not only became a rear base particularly to the People’s liberation army of Namibia (PLAN), a military wing of the Swapo party but also a safe haven to many ordinary Namibians.

It was during the struggle for Namibia’s independence, freedom fighters lost their lives on Zambian soil.

Last year, seven liberation heroes’ remains were repatriated from Zambia and Angola and buried at the Heroes’ Acre.

The remains of former Swapo Central Committee members Natalia Mavulu, Homateni Kalwenya, Isack Pondo Shikongo, former military council members Peter Eneas Nanyemba, and Augustus Nghaamwa McNamara were repatriated by the government from Angola.

The remains of Swapo Central Committee members Putuse Apollus and Linekela Kalenga were exhumed in Zambia in April.

Lungu assured the Namibians that his government remains committed to ensuring that those freedom fighters, who are still buried in Zambia will equally be accorded the heroic and decent burial as the one given to these heroes, being entered today.

“The invaluable sacrifices of all our heroes and heroines undeniably set a solid foundation for a new dispensation of democratic governance and economic development. The hope we therefore desire and the freedom we long for now, is that of economic emancipation,” he said.

Hundreds of people packed the Heroes Acre national monument for the commemoration of the 49th Heroes Day and internment of the human remains of three veterans of the liberation struggle.