One of the last two standing China military trained cadres of the Swanu of Namibia bowed out of this world with his party and community bidding him farewell at his homestead at the outpost of the village Die Oupad in rural Omaheke in the Otjombinde Constituency.
Silbanus Karumue Marenga-Tjoutuku , one of a third generation of liberation fighters after the first and second generation of German colonialism resisters stealthily their last passages, passed on last Thursday in Windhoek due to ill-health, and was laid to rest on Sunday. He was one of two remaining of the four Swanu of Namibia cadres who in 1964 went to China to receive military training at the Nanking Military Academy with the late Moses Ngeseuako Katjiuongua, late Ambrossius Hijatjikunga Kandjii and Katjimuina Veii, now the only surviving cadre of the four.
Among those bidding him farewell was his daughter, Jakotora Marenga-Tjoutuka, currently living in the United States of America (USA) in New York, where she was born when his father met and married her mother in the early 1970s, while a political refuge there. Tjoutuku-Marenga and many other Swanu cadres Veripi Ngaujake, and late Werner Mamugwe received military training in various countries. However, plans to apply their military training skills in terms of an armed revolution in Namibia had to be aborted when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)’s African Liberation Committee, declared the Swapo Party of Namibia the sole and authentic representative of the people of Namibia. Resultantly Swanu was deprived of financial, material and moral support and their offices, notably in Cairo and London, had to close as a result. Subsequently the hopes of many who left the country in the mid-1970s and onwards intent on engaging in the armed struggle, dashed leaving them to endure long stays in the refugee camp at Dukwe at Francistown in Botswana.
The last resort was for the Swanu cadres, even those already trained like Marenga-Tjoutuku, to be scattered all over the world like in the USA, and Stockholm in Sweden where the likes of Katjiuongua were eventually condemned to academic studies.
Among those paying Marenga-Tjoutuku tribute were his childhood friends Katjimuina Veii and Rebecca Katjiuongua, both of whom went into exile with him and later to China during the tenure of the famous leader of the Chinese revolution, Mao Zedong, better known in his hey days as Chairman Mao, Chairperson of the Chinese Communist Party and Founding Father of the People’s Republic of China. Because of their frailty due to age and ill-health, both Veii and Katjimuina could not attend their friend and comrade’s funeral and their tributes were voice-recorded and replayed at the burial ceremony on Saturday Sunday respectively.
Swanu of Namibia’s Presidential tribute was read by Muvatera Ndjoze-Siririka. Lamenting lack of respect and recognition for the party’s cadres of the 1960s and 1970s. “A party without a proper and genuine documented past will never embrace the future with confidence and truthfulness. Those denying the history of the party are those who are seeking fame for themselves as they scramble and campaign for leadership positions, which is a crime in Swanu,” said he on behalf of the party’s Predient, Dr Tangeni Iijambo. Adding that Tjoutuku-Marenga and the other party stalwarts return under Project 25 based on two basics, “1. The OAU had betrayed their struggle as they opted to support only Swapo and therefore denying highly trained Swanu veterans of military hardware, logistics and base to operate militarily in the frontline states’,”; “2. A blatant lie spread by our adversaries in the Southern African liberation movements that Swanu did not want to take up armed struggle,” and “3. That the main body of the struggle was inside the country as per Maoist military philosophy.”