Mushimba carved out fine legacy

05 September 2014
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IN an interview with the Windhoek Observer this week, the Minister of Lands and Resettlement Alpheus !Naruseb recalled the political journey and heroic deeds of Aaron Mushimba during Namibia’s liberation struggle.

 

During his life Mushimba, who passed away in a Cape Town hospital last Sunday, evolved from a freedom fighter to become one of the country’s leading businessmen.

!Naruseb described the late Mushimba as a very shrewd and outstanding organiser, who before going into exile guided many youth like himself in mobilising support for Swapo in the south of Namibia from 1974 until 1976.

He explained how the Berseba Traditional Authority under the leadership of Chief Goliath, became the first Nama traditional authority to associate itself openly with Swapo because of the work of Mushimba.

The lands minister recalled that the very first Swapo meeting conducted in the south took place in Berseba and that David Meroro addressed that meeting.

“These historic events I feel should be attributed to the organisation, the acumen and inspiration that boetie Aaron was able to fill the people around him with, especially us who were youngsters at that time,” !Naruseb said.

He noted that he came to know Mushimba in 1973 whilst attending Martin Luther High School, which was incidentally where the likes of Kaukunga, Eliphas Muniaro and others who were prominent in student politics attended school.

“However the political activism began at the end of 1974 shortly after I matriculated. Boetie Aaron served as the organising secretary of internal Swapo as we called it in those days.

“He was quite instrumental together with other significant and senior people then like the late Frans Kambangula, the late Axel Johannes, the late David Merero and then us,” !Naruseb said.

According to !Naruseb, through the guidance of Mushimba, the youth of that era, with little to no experience in politics, were able to promote and advance the mobilisation of Swapo at a time when the country was so disjointed.

!Naruseb said he would remember Mushimba for his humility and for being one of the most down to earth people he had encountered.

“I would see boetie Aaron in town on a Saturday as mighty as he is in terms of economic brews, dressed in a short and simple t-shirt like any ordinary Namibian,” he said.

!Naruseb added that if at all Mushimba had a great weakness, it was his nature of including and embracing everyone.

“During the era we worked together I realised that even those with ill-intent would find themselves around him and would take advantage of his nature. I doubt he abandoned this nature when he entered the business arena,” he said.

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Below are further tributes to Mushimba from friends and colleagues:

Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana: I cannot say I knew him very well, but I do know he was a very considerate and generous person who survived the gallows of the South African regime. He was a dedicated freedom fighter whose standing in the liberation movement was not questionable. I have a very high regard for his family, because his wife once saved my life. His passing is truly tragic.

Jerry Ekandjo: This is really a loss to the Namibian nation. Aaron was the first Namibian after the 60s who was sentenced to death by the apartheid regime. We have lost a dedicated cadre. We will miss him, but we will continue to emulate his good deeds.

Sacky Shanghala: People will surely remember him for his humility, business brilliance and steadfast principles and beliefs. He was a man of few words, but he was also a man who always meant what he said. I will also remember him for his sense of humour and the ability to get along with people of all ages. He had a chequered life with pitfalls, ups and downs, but his family remained a constant feature in his life. Uncle Aaron was a political and business mentor to me and we will miss him dearly. Rest in peace uncle.

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