By Emilia Mbishi
LUSAKA, Oct. 24 – Zambia celebrates 58 years of independence today and President Hage Geingob and first lady Monica Geingob are attending the event in Lusaka.
In a statement, Geingob said: “On this day 58 years ago, the people of Zambia were free from oppression and they assisted Namibia when it was oppressed.
“We must be the authors of our history, and the navigators of our destiny. Our freedom and independence drive us to collectively achieve great milestones,” said Geingob.
He said the friendship between the two nations stretches back to days of the struggle when Namibians were still under apartheid oppression and sought refuge and a springboard to launch their fight for independence, the people of Zambia, under the leadership of the late President Kenneth Kaunda, stretched out the hand of solidarity.
It was in Zambia where Namibians found a home away from home. It was Zambia and its people who opened their homes and their hearts to welcome us as brothers and sisters. It was in Zambia where Swapo set up the Nyango Health and Education Centre, which at one stage catered for close to 5 000 Namibians.
“It was in Zambia, right here in Lusaka, where the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) was opened to provide training for Namibians. Yours truly is honoured to have been the director at this institute. An institute that opened the doors to so many peerless administrators who have formed the core of our governance architecture for over three decades,” he said.
The president said, for this reason, Namibia shall always be indebted to the brotherly and sisterly people of Zambia for their unwavering solidarity and kindness.
Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia gained independence from Britain on 24 October 1964 with Kenneth Kaunda becoming the country’s first president.