Dr Tjitendero – A Hero

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The late former Speaker of the National Assembly MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Penaani Tjitendero will be laid to rest at the Heroes Acre next week Saturday. Tjitendero, who died on Wednesday morning at the Roman Catholic Hospital after a long illness, will be given a State funeral following a request from the State, which was granted by the Tjitendero family. The remains of Tjitendero will be taken to his home village Okomakuara, Ovitoto, next week Wednesday for traditional rituals before being brought back to Windhoek. A memorial service in honour of Tjitendero will be held at the Parliament Gardens next Friday afternoon and his body will lie in state at the Parliament Gardens before the State funeral on Saturday morning. Although the Namibian government has not issued an official statement on the funeral proceedings, it is expected that a day of national mourning will be declared next week Thursday when the Namibian flag will be flown at half-mast. On Wednesday afternoon and yesterday, hundreds of mourners continued to visit the house of the late former Speaker. Messages of condolences also continue to pour in and on Wednesday afternoon, the Deputy Secretary General of the Swapo Party John Pandeni on behalf the party extended his sympathy. “On behalf of Swapo Party leadership and its entire rank and file membership and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to express our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the bereaved family on this moment of sorrow and bereavement.” The Swapo Party described Tjitendero as a patriot, a defender of peace, national reconciliation and a promoter of the principle of One Namibia, One Nation. The party stated that his contribution to the Namibian struggle for freedom and independence will forever be remembered by many generations to come. “Namibia has lost a great son, an outstanding leader who dedicated his whole life to the just struggle of the Namibian people for independence and self-determination.” The United Democratic Front (UDF) President Justus Garoeb also extended condolences to the Tjitendero family. Garoeb said the late former Speaker was a wonderful personality, gifted with very sound human relations, wisdom and wealth of experience. “As the first Speaker, he had the supreme responsibility to unite different political party members, diverse opinion and bring them at par with present Namibian realities and challenges.” Garoeb said Tjitendero will be greatly remembered for his soft but sincere, humble yet persuasive attributes in all spheres, intra and extra Namibia. The Congress of Democrats also issued a message of condolence to Sandra Tjitendero and the children. CoD President Ben Ulenga in the statement noted that his party will remember Tjitendero as a freedom fighter, nation builder and democrat and Namibians should strive to build on his solid foundations. Former Minister of Trade and Industry Jesaya Nyamu also paid tribute to Tji-tendero, describing him as an honest person with a bright foresight. Nyamu told New Era that he met Tjitendero in 1966 in Stockholm, Sweden and was impressed by his eloquence from the first day. “Comrade Tjitendero was always positive and believed that every problem could be solved and even the last time I saw him at the hospital.” Nyamu, who is a graduate of Lincoln University like Tjitendero, noted that he was a friend of everybody and hardly had an enemy. “The former Speaker represented every ethnic group in Namibia and was a non tribalist and appears to have liberated himself from a very young age.” Nyamu said he was shocked by the passing away of Tjitendero but was consoled by the knowledge that Tjitendero has contributed immensely to Namibia.