Khorixas — Swapo welcomed more than 500 new members at its 53rd anniversary celebrations in Khorixas on Saturday, with party vice-president Dr Hage Geingob embracing them with the party birthday song "Hada /Haore [Let us unite]."
"I am happy that you opened your eyes and came to the table of Swapo, a party which is home to many people from different backgrounds. Swapo leadership is very happy to welcome you so that we hold hands and develop every corner of this beautiful country, including the Kunene Region," said Geingob.
Geingob also donated food to the elderly residents of Khorixas and appealed to the youth to respect elders, while at the same time stressing that the ruling party is serious about the eradication of poverty and urban hunger, as well as value addition to its resources. "Respect elders, parents. Swapo also has parents like you do, we have the founding fathers and mothers who commanded us and encouraged us to fight on until independence is attained. It was the likes of the founder of Swapo Party Dr Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Putuse Appolus and others who inspired us, hence we respect them," Geingob told the gathering.
Geingob, reflecting on the rich history of the party, paid tribute to the late PLAN Commander Peter Nanyemba for his inspiration during the challenging times of the struggle, especially after the battle of Omugulugwombashe. He referred to Nanyemba's phrase, that 'many rivers full of blood will flow before Namibia become independent. We have suffered a lot and are still prepared to suffer for our motherland.'
The Swapo vice-president also paid recognition to the bravery of retired Lieutenant General Martin Shali and retired Major General Charles Namoloh, who amongst other military commanders inspired PLAN fighters during the trying times of the struggle.
"I have never heard them boasting that they were fighters or claiming credit for their military achievements. Our principles were based on self-sacrifice and not to join to become a minister or governor one day, but to join trouble voluntarily, that's how we all joined Swapo at that time," he said of the early 1970s that saw an exodus of many young Namibians to join the exiled leadership to intensify the fight to liberate Namibia from the colonial joke.
"That was the time when we received reinforcements from home, the youth league worked hard to mobilise our youth under the leadership of Jerry Ekandjo and others. I am relating our history so that the youth and our new members in particular can appreciate where Swapo is coming from, how it arrived here and where we are going from here. Unity is the ultimate tool for co-existence as we entertain the second phase of our struggle," he said.