Fare thee well comrade Shixwameni
• BY HERTTA-MARIA AMUTENJA
ALL People’s Party leader Ignatius Shixwameni who passed away on Wednesday has been remembered by colleagues and political rivals as a political genius who was passionate about saving his country.
City of Windhoek mayor, Job Amupanda wrote on behalf of Windhoek residents on a social media platform expressing his condolences to Shixwameni’s family and APP party members and referred to him as a brave political leader.
“On behalf of the residents of Windhoek, we salute this son of the soil and a resident of our city. Our heartfelt condolences to his family, his wife and children and the APP family.
“The history of our country, as told, read and understood, records the name of honourable Shixwameni as one of the great revolutionaries of his time. One of the bravest who stood up for his values during difficult times, when it wasn’t popular to do so,” wrote Amupanda.
Ardent Pan Africanist and Swapo member McDavid Meroro said he had been privileged to have known Shixwameni who always advised him despite their political differences.
“It is with great sadness that I learnt about the demise of a former student activist, the late honorable Shixwameni a member of parliament on the ticket of APP. I truly admire the fact that during all our meetings and interactions, he always guided and provided advice which turned out helpful besides our political differences,” said Meroro.
Uutara Muutu of Popular Democratic Movement and the party’s’ parliamentary spokesperson said of Shixwameni: “He played a pivotal role to our people and was a young militant giant during the struggle. This is a tragic and a sad day for our nation.”
Shixwameni started his political career as a student leader of the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) at the dawn of independence and was also SWAPO Youth League leader from 1987 to 1999 and a Swapo Central Committee member from 1992 to 1997.
Elected to Parliament in 1999 as a member of Swapo, he joined the opposition Congress of Democrats (COD) in 2000 as their chief whip.
Shixwameni then resigned from COD in December 2007, along with 21 other members.
Thereafter he founded APP in January 2007 where he was selected as the party’s president.
He died after collapsing at parliament while attending a committee meeting on foreign affairs alongside other parliamentarians.