A tribute to Mekupi Tujendapi

29 July 2020 | Opinion

DR RIHUPISA KANDANDO



Comrade Mekupi Tujendapi departed us on 13 July 2020, in the same month as David Kasume and Jakuua Tjirare (both Swanu UN representatives in New York during the struggle days). Incidentally, Namibia was also this month robbed of one of the illustrious sons of the Namibian soil, Jason Angula. If sectarian, partisan and myopic considerations were not the order of the day in our contemporary Namibia, his heroic contribution to the broader anti-colonial struggle through the banner of fury and patriotic Namibia National Convention (NNC) with the likes of late Nathanael Maxhuilili, late Daniel Tjongarero, late Mokganedi Thlabanelo, Axel Johannes, Joshua Hoebeb late Martha Ford of Swapo; late Gerson Hitjevi Veii, Sondag Kangueehi, Jefta Tjozongoro, Kuzeeko Kangueehi, Vekuii Rukoro of Swanu; Kephas Conradie of Voice of the People; Zephania Kameeta of Napdo (before the latter joined Swapo of Namibia) and few traditionalists. These were giants of our anti-colonial struggle inside occupied Namibia who incurred the wrath of the enemy as a consequence of instrumentality of mobilising and inculcating the spirit of total and unconditional liquidation of racist Pretoria – a noble task to which late Tujendapi committed himself and that earned him impeccable revolutionary credentials. We salute you!

Having established contacts in Germany with Zimbabweans, late Tujendapi will be remembered for having been part of a preparatory committee that paved the way revolutionary mission to Zimbabwe through infamous 'Mission to the unknown' in an attempt to solicit armed struggle support from the newly established government of Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe. The mission was undertaken at a critical juncture when the Zimbabwean security agenda to combat the activities of General Peter Walls of the Rhodesian Army, who fled to Pretoria in November 1979 to enlist mercenaries to destabilise the territorial sovereignty of Zimbabwe, was at play.

This mission, of which the duration was short, did take place though the timing and lack of success were compromised partly by the provision of the Geneva Convention of 1951 relating to the movement of refugees. He will be remembered for having been a member of Namibian Black Students Organization (Nabso), an antidote to white liberalism in the student politics of 1970s as opposed to accentuated new multiracial student politics of the 1980s informed by 1955 Kliptown Freedom Charter, an ill-advised document that paved the way for re-entry visa of neo-colonial arrangements in situations which by definition were resistance against racist, apartheid white settler colonialism. By a stroke of that ill-advised understanding, 'our South Africa and Namibia have become countries belonging to all who live them' contrary to the revolutionary wisdom of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and generations of Steven Bantu Biko.

He will be remembered for having been part of the diplomatic offensive in the Federal Republic of Germany against racist Pretoria regime during the 1979-1982 to counteract the massive South Africa propaganda that was intended to undercut the legitimacy of our people's resistance under Veii's Swanu and Nujoma's Swapo - the only two entities that on grounds of principle refused to participate in neo-colonial political dispensation and designs Pretoria introduced in Namibia.

Subsequent to his repatriation to Namibia by the UNHCR in accordance with the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 by UNHCR, he has continued to mobilise resources for Namibia Rural Development Project (NRDP), a project he established and which the GRN currently supports.

Finally, he served with distinction the Ministry of Finance in what we in Swanu truthfully, loyally and patriotically consider as the Government of Republic Namibia despite external imposed constraints such as jobs for comrades, reminiscent of Apartheid era in which job reservation was the order of the day, flagrant violation of constitutional provision of restructured and balanced society in public service, police force, defence force employment; lack of job promotion opportunities at the expense of meritocracy, suitability, qualification and encyclopaedic resourceful experience, fairness and social justice.

We take comfort from the Marxist notion of dialectical materialism that where is birth and there is always bound to be death. It is now up to us to follow Tujendapi legacy and footsteps to avert onslaught against our people.

When it was time to test the validity and adherence thereof to late Uatjindua Ndjoze's notion that states “it takes both conviction and commitment for a revolutionary to be glued his or her ideals”, late Tujendapi stood the test of time during early 1990s, 1999 and 2003 when it was a norm to abandon principles in favour of political kiosks and mercenary-like political corner shops that were mushrooming during those period. He refused to become a political hitch-hiker and cannon fodder in support of principles that are diametrically opposed to the true aspirations and needs that are represented by the transmission-belt, custodian, depository and African caravan of the Namibian people - Swanu of Namibia.

May his soil rest in eternal peace. Hambakale!

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