Chief Buried amid Some Controversy


By Kuvee Kangueehi OKAKARARA Chief David Tuvahi Kambazembi was laid to rest on Saturday afternoon at Tjozondupa, a few kilometers outside Okakarara. Many dignitaries including ministers, traditional chiefs and ambassadors together with hundreds of other mourners, some of whom came from as far as Botswana and South Africa, attended the funeral. Chief Kambazembi of the Onguatjindu Royal House died on July 14 in South Africa while on a mission to search and bring home the remains of his grandfather who died in exile in South Africa. The funeral proceedings, which started on Friday afternoon, heard tributes from various mourners but there was also a strong element of infighting among the different chiefs of the various traditional houses. It was clear that five chiefs of the Herero royal houses did not have kind words for Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako who in turn hit back. Most of the senior traditional councillors in their speeches shared the sentiment that Riruako never wanted the Onguatjindu Royal House, of which the late Kambazembi was the chief, to be recognized by the previous regime. They claimed that it was only through the intervention of the then National Patriotic Front (NPF) leader Moses Katjiuongua that the Onguatjindu Royal House was recognized. And thus they felt it was not appropriate that Riruako should enjoy prominence during the funeral proceedings. However, when he was given the platform, Riruako explained how he was related to the Kambazembi Royal House. There was also strong underground lobbying for a successor to the late Kambazembi. So far, two or three candidates appear to be in the race. The outcome of the succession race will depend on a number of factors such as birth in the Kambazembi Royal House. Politics is also expected to play a significant role and it is believed that different members of the Onguatjindu Royal House would choose a candidate who is likely to support their preferred political party. The late Kambazembi was a supporter of the ruling party Swapo but Nudo and the DTA are hoping that the next leader will be more sympathetic towards their respective causes. The Onguatjindu Royal House is the biggest royal house in the Otjozondjupa Region. The Minister Lands and Resettlement Jerry Ekandjo delivered a speech on behalf of the Head of State Hifikepunye Pohamba, while the Minister of Trade and Industry Immanuel Ngatjizeko represented Swapo Party. Paying tribute on behalf of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Deputy Minister Kazenambo Kazenambo said the late Kambazembi was not only a traditional leader with a mission, who had fallen while on a historic mission, but was also a tall tower, larger than life, who epitomized the heroic spirit of patriotic resistance against the forces of colonialism. “He symbolized a link to our war of resistance, as a child of those Namibians who fled to Botswana during the Ovaherero uprising of 1904-1907 against the German colonial forces.” Kazenambo added that the late Chief Kambazembi competently and meticulously ran the race and completed the circle. ” The historic role he has played while he was alive, and also from the nature of his death while on a mission, is a strong message and a great challenge for all of us to fulfill.” The late Chief Kambazembi’s place of birth is Kauletsi (Seleka) in the Limpopo Province, South Africa on 20th July 1932. Kambazembi died on 14 July 2006 and was pronounced dead on arrival at Marapong Private Hospital.