Windhoek-As messages of condolence pour in for the late veteran Namibian politician, Nora Schimming-Chase, who passed away due to ill health, President Hage Geingob described her as a true servant of the people and a diplomat.
Schimming-Chase, who died yesterday in the Paramount Private Hospital in Windhoek, was 77 years old.
President Geingob described Schimming-Chase as a person of the people and a diplomat, who with former deputy prime minister Dr Libertina Amathila joined the struggle as brave female freedom fighters together with one of the stalwarts of Namibia’s revolution, the late Putuse Appolus in Dar es Salam (Tanzania) in the 1960s.
“I have learned with sadness about the death of family friend and outstanding Namibian servant, Comrade Nora-Schimming-Chase,” said Geingob.
The president wished the family and friends strength during this trying time of sorrow and bereavement.
A member of the Congress of Democrats (CoD), Schimming-Chase had been a member of the National Assembly since 2000.
Former prime minister Nahas Angula described her as an active freedom fighter who contributed immensely during her time in parliament.
“It is sad news. I didn’t hear it. I am just hearing it from you. We have lost a very dynamic voice which helped Namibia’s lawmaking process to produce valuable pieces of legislation. I give my condolences and sympathy to the family that we all are sharing this loss. She was both a colleague and a comrade during the struggle and after independence. She made her contribution and I hope we build on her work.”
Founder of the CoD Ben Ulenga who has since last year returned to Swapo also expressed his shock and dismay at her passing.
He described her as one of the freedom fighters who walked deep tracks before his time during the liberation struggle.
“It’s sad indeed she has to go. I used to read about her in newspapers while I was still at school. I also worked with her during my time as a politician at the forefront. She contributed a lot to women’s rights. Namibian people, especially women, should emulate her deeds. Namibia will miss her,” Ulenga said.
He conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family.
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation also shared their condolences since Schimming-Chase had served in various ambassadorial missions.
Schimming-Chase was among the first core group of diplomatic cadres selected to establish the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately after independence in 1990.
The permanent secretary in the international relations ministry, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said wherever Schimming-Chase had served, she made a difference, saying service with diligence was her single purpose, and loyalty to her country was her defining characteristic.
“She was a bright woman, full of life. She was a constant source of encouragement to junior staff members and sound advice for her colleagues. Thus, as we mourn her passing I wish us to recall what Shakespeare once said: ‘Laughing faces do not mean that there is an absence of sorrow. But it means that they have the ability to deal with it.’ That is how I feel we should celebrate Ambassador Schimming-Chase’s life, laughing while mourning,” she said.
She added that upon completion of the training course, Schimming-Chase was assigned to open the Namibian embassy in France, a task she successfully accomplished.
She was then appointed as the first Namibian ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 1992 to 1996, with concurrent accreditation to Poland and Austria.
She was also conferred the Most Distinguished Order of Namibia: First Class on Heroes Day, August 26, 2014.
On retiring from public life and in recognition of her leadership qualities and diplomatic experience, Schimming-Chase was selected by her peers as the founding chairperson of the Namibian Association of Retired Ambassadors.
Ashipala-Musavyi maintained the ministry is immensely proud to have been associated with Schimming-Chase and is grateful for her service.
“She left an indelible mark. The Deputy Prime and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation [Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah], management and all staff of the ministry express their condolences to the bereaved family and express our solidarity with them during this moment of bereavement,” she said.