Ex-PLAN fighter Tjipira Mbimbo gets official funeral

OPUWO: Tjipira Mbimbo, a former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) combatant who died on 15 January 2024 at the age of 85, has been accorded an official funeral.

Mbimbo died at home in Opuwo after a lengthy illness.

He will be laid to rest beside his wife at the Kunene regional heroes’ shrine at Okozungupati in Opuwo. Mbimbo was a renowned PLAN fighter who joined the struggle for independence in 1975 at Okahozu village in the Epupa Constituency.

This week, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology issued a statement confirming Mbimbo’s official funeral, as conferred by President Hage Geingob on the recommendation of the National Honours Advisory Committee.

Speaking to Nampa on Friday, Kunene regional coordinator for the Swapo Party, Julius Kaujova hailed Mbimbo as a steadfast liberator who was among the most fervent PLAN warriors in the struggle for independence.

According to Kaujova, the late Mbimbo began to embrace the cause of independence in the mid-1970s, when he enrolled in a
military training programme alongside fellow recruits.

‘He was a political mobiliser. Mbimbo began recruiting others to join the PLAN fighters shortly after being recruited by them,’ he stated.

He also provided material assistance to PLAN soldiers, such as water and food, and helped them to hide their weapons, Kaujova added.

‘Unfortunately, the occupying soldiers’ agents failed to identify his support for PLAN fighters. He was held in solitary detention at Opuwo, where he was subsequently freed when they were unable to get information from him regarding the PLAN fighters’ locations,’ continued Kaujova.

According to Kaujova, in an attempt to scare Mbimbo and prevent him from supporting Swapo, the colonial authorities under the then-South African administration subjected him to harsh torture, brutalisation, and inhumane circumstances.

‘He was eventually released, but he continued to promote the cause of independence,’ added Kaujova.

As a consequence of his notable achievements and activities while in the
hands of colonial authorities, as well as his contributions to the liberation movement, the Office of the President, led then by Founding President Sam Nujoma, awarded him ‘The Most Distinguished’ honour.

The funeral service is scheduled for Friday at his residence in Okoupaue, Epupa Constituency.

Mbimbo leaves behind 12 children and 28 grandchildren.

Source: Namibia Press Agency