Windhoek-The Zambezi regional police commander, Commissioner Boniface Mukendwa (60), died on Monday afternoon at his house in Boma location in Katima Mulilo.
A family member, Donald Malumo, who is also a colleague of the late commissioner, confirmed the death to New Era yesterday.
Malumo said the commissioner, who was born on January 25, 1957, died at his home following a short illness.
He revealed Mukendwa went home for lunch on Monday and never returned to work as he apparently complained that he did not feel well and needed to rest.
According to the family member, the deceased took a nap but he did not wake up from his sleep.
Malumo confirmed that Mukendwa was pronounced dead at around 16h00.
The family members are yet to decide on the funeral arrangements.
Late last year, Mukendwa was appointed as commander for the 16th and 17th phases of the elephant tusk operations as part of the police’s anti-poaching efforts.
Mukendwa joined the Namibian police in 1995 and was trained at Luiperdvallei.
Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, who also confirmed the death, said Mukendwa rose through the ranks of his police career.
Kanguatjivi said Mukendwa was promoted to warrant officer in 1998 and became an inspector in 2001.
During 2006 he was promoted to chief inspector and the following year he rose to a deputy commissioner’s rank.
In 2014, he was promoted to full commissioner and eventually was appointed as regional commander for Zambezi until his untimely death on Monday.
He also received several medals, including one for 20 years of service, commendation medal and 10 years of service.
He leaves behind a wife and four children- three boys and one girl.
Malumo, who crossed the border with Mukendwa into exile during the country’s liberation struggle, took New Era through their political journey.
He said they crossed the Zambezi River into Zambia on September 14, 1975.
When they reached Zambia, he said they were detained in police custody at Sesheke for a week.
“Then we were taken to a prison in Livingstone where we stayed for almost a month. We were transported to Lusaka at a Swapo Olb farm. From the Olb farm we were sent to the first Swapo military camp around October in 1975 at Shatotwa,” he recalled.
“We stayed there for a month and a half. They decided we were too young so we should go back to school. We went back to Kaoma and started schooling at Nyango school from 1976 to July 1977.”
After July 1977, he said, they were sent back to the front to fight the enemy.
According to him, they engaged the enemy during the 1977 battle at Katima Mulilo until their transfer to Hainyeko camp in Angola for further military training.
Malumo noted they stayed at the front up until 1983 when Mukendwa was sent to Dalatatu camp to serve as a commander.
He stayed there as commander until he repatriated to Namibia in 1989.
After independence, Mukendwa joined the Namibian police.