WINDHOEK/RUNDU – Tributes are pouring in for the late Namibian Ambassador to Austria, Raphael Nakare Dinyando, 53, who died in that country on Wednesday following his long battle with cancer.
Good-natured and affable the late Dinyando is the former mayor of Rundu. He was born at Divundu, some 200 kilometers east of Rundu on August 02 1960.
He is also the former deputy minister of information and broadcasting.
Dinyando’s friend and longtime political ally, Nimrod Muremi, who is currently the councillor for the Rundu Urban Constituency described the late ambassador as a great mobiliser and his right-hand man during the struggle for independence.
“When I was appointed as the coordinator for the entire Kavango Region, I appointed Dinyando as the first-ever treasurer of Swapo in the region. He was instrumental in opening the first Swapo bank account in the region,” said Muremi. He said the late ambassador still had a lot to contribute to the development of Namibia.
“These are the guys who knew where this country is coming from, and more so how hard it was during the struggle. We used to travel together on our missions to the Swapo office in Botswana where we would collect mobilisation material which we would come distribute in the region,” reminisced Muremi.
He said Dinyando was one of the very few people he could trust with confidential party information as well as mobilisation material because his [Muremi] house was constantly raided by apartheid security forces and he could not store it there.
“We were also detained together on several occasions, mainly because the two of us dealt directly with the forbidden mobilisation material that was banned by the apartheid regime,” recalled the former political activist.
Longtime friend and cousin of Dinyando, Kavango Education Director, Alfons Dikuua, said Dinyando was a down to earth person who knew what he wanted.
“Raphael actually used to accommodate me at his house whenever I came from school at Dobra, all I can say is that he was a really down to earth man,” he said.
“We met in the 1970s when he started attending school at Andara – by that time I was a grade in front of him,” said the late ambassador’s cousin.
Meanwhile, former Swapo coordinator for Kavango, Vincent Likoro, said Dinyando was involved in party activities since his youth days.
“He was devoted to fieldwork all over the region. He was someone who was frank, humble and dedicated to the cause of the struggle,” said Likoro. Likoro also recalled that Dinyando was detained several times.
“He was one of those who smuggled the party’s propaganda material into the country from countries such as Botswana and Zambia,” said Likoro.
The late ambassador’s brother, Joseph Dinyando, told New Era five children and a wife survives Ambassador Dinyando.
“Right now we have not started with any funeral arrangements because we are waiting for instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the demise of Dinyando at the state hospital in Vienna, Austria where he was hospitalised with cancer.
The ministry also expressed its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Dinyando and wished them strength and solace during this difficult time.
The ministry is facilitating the repatriation of his remains to Namibia, while announcements regarding funeral arrangementswill be made in due course.
By Albertina Nakale and Mathias Haufiku