By Kuvee Kangueehi
The late Ovambanderu Paramount Chief Munjuku II Nguvauva was laid to rest on Saturday morning at Okahandja.
Over three thousand mourners from various walks of life started gathering at Okahandja from Friday morning. A memorial service in his honour was held on Friday afternoon at the Ovambaderu Commando.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Founding President Sam Nujoma were among the crowd that gathered to pay tribute to the 85-year-old chief who passed away on January 16 in Windhoek after a short illness.
Pohamba said the late Paramount Chief Munjuku II has built bridges to promote national reconciliation and tolerance.
He noted that this was clearly manifested by the huge attendance at his funeral by Namibians from all walks of life and backgrounds that came in large numbers from all parts of the country to pay homage to a hero.
The Head of State said Chief Munjuku II served his people and country well with dedication throughout his life.
“We should continue to promote these positive values in order to ensure that his legacy is immortalised.”
Pohamba said the Mbanderu community and the nation have lost a strong proponent and champion of tolerance and national reconciliation.
“Our people should continue to build on this rich legacy as we work to take our country forward on the path of prosperity and achievement of Vision 2030.”
Pohamba added that the late chief was a dedicated leader who fought for the interest of his people and said even during his last days when his health started to deteriorate, he would still insist on visiting the President at State House.
The President said he was scheduled to meet Chief Munjuku II again next month for a consultative meeting but this will no longer take place because of his death.
The President extended his condolences to the two widows, the bereaved family, relatives and the entire Mbanderu community.
He said they must find consolation in the knowledge that the life of the late chief was well lived and that he had made valuable contributions to the struggle for independence, development of the country and that these contributions will always be remembered and cherished by generations to come.
The chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders, King Elifas Kauluma, in his tribute said the late chief was a visionary leader who worked for the interest of all Namibians.
Kauluma said the late chief also gave all Namibians a heritage of peace and unity and everybody should treasure it.
Consoling the bereaved family, King Kauluma said death is the path to everlasting life and the late chief is now living an everlasting life.
At the same occasion a Senior Traditional Leader, Gerson Katjirua, of the Ovambaderu Traditional Authority on behalf of the authority thanked the Government for honouring their chief with a State funeral.
Katjirua revealed that the Mbanderu Community received material and financial support from the Government and the Founding President, Sam Nujoma.
Katjirua informed the Government that they would continue to update them about any new developments within the Mbanderu community, including the appointment of a new paramount chief.
Hundreds of dignitaries including Deputy Prime Minister Dr Libertina Amathila, the Swapo Party Secretary General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, Martin Shalli, Judge President Petrus Damaseb, Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers as well members of the diplomatic corps attended the funeral.
The late Chief Munjuku II was laid to rest next to his great-grandfather, Ovambanderu Paramount Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva.
His great-grandfather was one of the leading figures in Namibia’s resistance struggle against German colonialism. He was executed by German Imperial troops in 1896 together with Nikodemus Kavikunua.
The late Chief Munjuku II is credited with a constructive role in the Namibian liberation struggle while in Botswana, assisting together with Daniel Munamava Namibian refugees like the Founding President Sam Nujoma.
The late Chief Munjuku II was born in Maun in Botswana in 1923 and became the chief of the Ovambanderu in 1952.
He continued his contribution to the struggle when he came to Namibia in the early 1960s. With the official recognition of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority by an independent Namibian Government together with other traditional authorities, and the creation of the Council of Traditional Leaders, Chief Munjuku II became the Deputy Chairperson of the Council under Aandonga King Elifas Kauluma, a position he occupied until his departure.