Aaron Mushimba – struggle icon, politician and businessman (07 December 1946 – 31 August 2014)

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WINDHOEK – Known mostly for his business acumen many people are unaware of late Aaron Twapewa Johannes Mushimba’s political credentials.

Mushimba died on Sunday in a South African hospital at the age of 67.

Born on 07 December 1946 in Windhoek’s Old Location, Mushimba was the seventh child of Johanness and Kandorera Mushimba.

From a tender age, Mushimba was a loving and humble child who always did as his parents asked, completing all his household chores as directed.

The late Mushimba started school at the Rhenish Herero School in Windhoek in Sub A – progressing to Standard Six during the early 1950s.

After completing Standard 6, Mushimba opted to start a vocational career at a privately owned Garage Service Station called Bokkel Man Service Station.

He progressed very well with this vocational training while employed.  In 1969, Mushimba was employed as a travel consultant with an Englishman who also employed his elder brother, the late Tate Sacky Ngeno Mushimba.

This work provided Mushimba with an opportunity to visit various places in Namibia taking orders for clothing and in return buying stock particularly in Cape Town, South Africa.

In the seventies Mushimba moved to another employer, an American mining consulting company.  It was during this time that Mushimba became a Swapo activist and political mobiliser along with the other political activists Frans Kambangula among numerous others.

Mushimba was later appointed as a national mobiliser and took an active role in the covert operations of Swapo by arranging the transfer of monies from aboard and cascading it to the various structures in the party.

Following the assassination of Chief Elifas in Northern Namibia, Mushimba was arrested by the notorious South African secret police and charged with the murder of the puppet chief and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the 70s.

He spent a year on death row.

His sister, the former first lady Kovambo Nujoma, Mushimba’s wife Adolfine and his mother [Kandorera] spent their meagre earnings visiting him from time to time in Swakopmund where he was incarcerated in solitary confinement.

On appeal Mushimba was released on the grounds that the police had tempered with the evidence.

In 1978, Mushimba and his family left Namibia to join Swapo in exile because of continued harassment, intimidation and death threats.

In 1980, Mushimba was appointed Chief Swapo representative to Zambia.  In 1987, he was again appointed Swapo representative to Angola.

In 1983, Mushimba was appointed the Chief Swapo representative to Senegal, where he served with dedication and commitment as a seasoned diplomat advocating Namibia’s independence from South Africa’s illegal occupation.

Mushimba and his family returned to Namibia in 1989 and became co-advocates of Black Economic Empowerment.

The business mogul’s political engagements took a back seat when the country became independent after he shifted his attention from politics to business.

Mushimba, touted as one of the wealthiest black Namibians, has mainly been involved in fishing, construction, banking as well as in the mining sector.

He served as chairman of various companies under the Kandorera Group of Companies.

In 2012, Mushimba was conferred the national honour of hero of the Namibian liberation struggle by President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

His wife Adolfine, four children, three grandchildren, an elder brother and elder sister survive him.

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