Windhoek-When the late governor of Kunene Region Angelika Muharukua died in Windhoek nearly three weeks ago, she was on an official mission to brief the government on her activities in the region and seek guidance on what was to be done further, President Hage Geingob revealed yesterday.
Muharukua died on October 1 at her home in Hochland Park. A memorial service was held in her honour at Parliament Gardens yesterday.
“Heroes don’t retire but die on the battlefield, just like Comrade Muharukua,” Geingob said, as he prepared to lead hordes of mourners to bury the late governor in Kunene on Saturday.
Late last week – after days of differences on where Muharukua should be buried – Geingob said the late governor’s wish of her final resting place should be granted.
Yesterday Geingob clarified that being declared a national hero does not compel people to be buried at Heroes Acre, adding that the deceased and their survivors’ wishes must prevail.
He cited as an example that the revered former deputy prime minister Hendrik Swartbooi too was granted the same status, but was buried at his home settlement of Gibeon as per his wish.
Government has declared three days of national mourning for Muharukua, from today to Saturday.
Geingob, who is expected to appoint a new governor for Kunene in the coming weeks, said that in Muharukua he had lost a true ally and mother figure.
“There can be no glory without overcoming and Comrade Muharukua is one who has endured and prevailed,” the president, accompanied by his wife Monica Geingos and high-ranking officials of the state, said.
Director of ceremonies Libertine Amathila, herself a former deputy prime minister, described Muharukua as a woman who represented marginalised people with zeal and immeasurable empathy.
“She lived life to the fullest and expressed herself the best way she knew how in English and Otjiherero, at the same time,” she said, adding that the late governor should be celebrated for her selflessness.
Muharukua’s body will lie in state at Parliament Gardens until it is taken for memorial services at her home village of Okatjetje today and the Opuwo sports complex on Friday.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology said public and private institutions should ensure that the national flag and all other flags are hoisted at half-mast across the country during the mourning period.
A memorial service will be held on Friday at the Newman Katuta Stadium in Opuwo, Kunene Region. – Additional reporting by Nampa