Zambian government has declared former South Africa freedom fighter Oliver Tambo’s residence in Chelston area as a National Monument.
According to a statement released by the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC), chiefs and traditional affairs minister, Lawrence Sichalwe signed the Statutory Instrument for the provisional declaration of Tambo’s residence situated on Plot F/609/A/15 in Chelston Green Area as a National Monument in accordance with NHCC’s Act Section 27 Chapter 173 of the Laws of Zambia.
“The residence nicknamed Phiri in those days was occupied by Oliver Reginald Tambo a South African anti-apartheid politician and revolutionary who served as president of the African National Congress from 1967 to 1991. Oliver Tambo spent 22 years of his 33 years exile in Zambia mostly in this house,” NHCC stated.
It added that the new heritage site was important as evidence and symbol of the role that Zambia played in ensuring that the whole of Southern Africa was independent from the various oppressive colonial and apartheid regimes.
“Zambia’s first Republican Party president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, believed that Zambia’s independence was meaningless if its neighbours and the rest of Africa were not free hence Zambia’s support for liberation movements from various Southern African nations. The assigning of this ‘safe’ house to Oliver Tambo by the Zambian Government was not just an honour to the freedom fighters but also as recognition of Tambo as South Africa’s possible future president after independence. Tambo was in-charge of the ANC when the Nelson Mandela was incarcerated in prison for 27 years,” NHCC added.
The declaration of Tambo’s residence as a National Monument on October 27 coincides with his birthday.
“The late South Africa political icon would have been 99 years today having been born on October 27, 1917, in Nkantolo, South Africa. He died on April 24, 1993, in Johannesburg, South Africa,” NHCC added.
Tambo once said: “The fight for freedom must go on until it is won; until our country is free and happy and peaceful as part of the community of man, we cannot rest.”