Residents of Tsandi Constituency in the Omusati Region commemorated Heroes' Day at Omugulugwombashe on Sunday. Omugulugwombashe (Ongulumbashe) is where the first armed battle in the Namibian struggle for independence took place.
Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali and the councillor of the constituency Nangolo Mutota addressed the crowd, which showed up for the commemoration.
Katali urged the community to respect the plight of the ex-combatants and not to forget that it was through their efforts, determination and sacrifices that "we were able to claim the country from the South African oppressors".
"The struggle for independence produced a large number of people who are unable to get employment since independence because of their age and physical conditions inflicted by the war.
"Cognisant of their socio-economic condition, the government embarked on multiple programmes in order to address their plight,"
The Ministry of Veterans Affairs was also established with the mandate to initiate, promote and implement projects and programmes for the benefit of veterans of the liberation struggle, according to Katali.
Katali encouraged all Namibians who fall within the ambit of the definition of a veteran to go out and register with the Ministry of Veterans Affairs. The minister further noted that access to freehold land remains a challenge even though land is the main factor of production.
"Without land tenure, our people who are the rightful owners still have to kneel down to greedy capitalists and absent landlords to rent land at exorbitant prices," said the minister.
The official commemoration of Heroes' Day at Omugulugwombashe itself would take place after every five years. Katali told the people of Omugulugwombashe that government has not forgotten them.
"A national monument has been erected here as a symbol of pride and remembrance of our heroes and heroines," said Katali.
Katali said through the rural electrification programme, the energy ministry will ensure that all government institutions and churches in the area are electrified in the shortest period of time.
The minister also spoke out against the increasing cases or rape and passion killing in the country.
"I have no words to describe such wild actions. This is exactly the same way our people were butchered and suffered at the hands of South African armed forces during the course of the liberation struggle," he said.