Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has petitioned visiting Zambian President Rupiah Bwezani Banda to help establish the fate or whereabouts of several Namibian freedom fighters who had disappeared without a trace to date on Zambian soil between 1976 and 1978.
The Zambian security forces, presumably acting on the instructions of then SWAPO President Sam Nujoma, rounded them up after they were accused of being “radicals” and or “rebels”. They include the following:
1. AIKOTA, Abel (Ondangwa-Oshikoto Region)
2. HAIMBODI, John (Edudja-Ohangwena Region)
3. HAKAYE, Barry (Oniipa-Oshikoto Region)
4. HALLELUJA, (Ohangwena Region)
5. HAMUPEMBE, Jackson (Etomba-Ohangwena Region)
6. HAUPINDI, Gabriel (Onheleiwa-Ohangwena Region)
7. ILYA, Leonard Shilongo (Eengolo-Omusati Region)
8. IPUMBU, Israel Mashuna “Shimbungu” (Ogongo-Omusati Region)
9. KADHILA, John (Okaku-Oshikoto Region)
10.KAUKUNGWA, Tuyeni (Walvis Bay-Erongo Region)
11.KOMEYA, Ananias (Omusati Region)
12.MARKUS, Longinus (Omusati Region)
13.MUNDJEGO, Elifas (Oshipanda-Oshikoto Region)
14.MWIIYALE, Jerry (Omusati Region)
15.NAKAAMBO, Gottlieb (Onayena-Oshikoto Region)
16.NAMASHANA, (Ontokolo-Oshikulufitu-Omusati Region)
17.NDINOSHIHO, Jason (Omundjalala-Omusati Region)
18.NGHIYOLWA, Jonas (Okaku-Ongenga-Ohangwena Region)
19.SHAFOMBABI, Timo (Walvis Bay Ongenga-Ohangwena Region)
20.SHANGHALA, Nestor (Ontokolo-Omusati Region)
21.SHIKOLOMWENYO (Omakango-Oshikoto Region)
22.SHIKUDULE, Andreas (Okalongo-Oneheke-Omusati Region)
23.SHIMWAAFENI, Junias (Walvis Bay-Erongo Region)
24.TAAPOPI, Valombola (Ohamuti-Omusati Region)
25.TOROMBA, Joel Vikurupa (Aminius-Omaheke Region)
The disappeared persons were part of hundreds of Namibians who fled apartheid South African oppression in Namibia between 1974 and 1975 and joined SWAPO then as a liberation movement based in Zambia.
They disappeared under mysterious circumstances after they vehemently opposed the so-called Détente Scenario, also known as “An Approach to Peaceful Change in Southern Africa”, between then South African Prime Minister John Vorster, on the one side, and SWAPO and the Zambian Government, on the other. The détente affair also led to SWAPO’s armed wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), being expelled from their bases in southwestern Zambia.
“At the time of their disappearances, President Rupiah Banda was Zambia’s Foreign Minister and, as such, he played a crucial role in such disappearances as well as in the hostile acts against the PLAN fighters in Zambia”, said NSHR executive director Phil ya Nangoloh.
President is expected to arrive in Namibia where he was invited for a State visit by his Namibian counterpart, President Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba.