State funeral declared for Schimming-Chase

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Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-President Hage Geingob has declared an official state funeral for the late Ambassador Nora Schimming-Chase. “President Geingob has conferred the honour of an Official State Funeral on the late Schimming-Chase,” the presidential spokesperson Dr Alfredo Hengari said in a statement. The conferment is in terms of article 32 (8) of the Namibian Constitution, Hengari explained. “A memorial service will be held in her honour at the Parliament Gardens on Friday afternoon, 16 March,” Hengari said in a statement.

Schimming-Chase succumbed to cancer on Tuesday in the Paramount Private Hospital in Windhoek, and would be laid to rest at farm De Rust in the Rehoboth district on Saturday. She was 77 years old.

In an interview with the family spokesperson, Brian Black, who is the late diplomat’s cousin, he said her memorial service will be held on Friday at 19h00.

They will then take her to her final resting place on Saturday at farm De Rust.
Black said there will be prayer sessions for the late politician, which started yesterday at the Lutheran church in Khomasdal, until Friday when the body will be viewed at the family home at 5 Herzinger Street, Eros.
He said the memorial service will be facilitated by Bishop Zephania Kameeta who is also the Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.

“Saturday, early morning, we will start with a prayer session and then proceed to the Lutheran church in Khomasdal for the church service. The congregation and mourners will proceed to farm De Rust to take Ambassador Nora Schimming-Chase to her final resting place. The farm is where most of the Schimming family have been buried over the years,” Black noted.

First Lady Monica Geingos, Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Speaker of the National Assembly Prof. Peter Katjavivi were among those who paid their tributes and signed the book of condolence.

Those who wish to attend the funeral are advised to take the Kupferberg Road from Windhoek for 21 km, then turn left towards Walvis Bay and Solitaire and proceed for approximately 30 km before turning left towards Rehoboth.
Then they are further advised to open the gate and proceed for approximately 10 km until they see the first farm entrance and then keep to their right and proceed to De Rust. 

President Geingob described Schimming-Chase as a servant leader and diplomat, who with former deputy prime minister Libertina Amathila joined the liberation struggle as brave female freedom fighters together with one of the stalwarts of Namibia’s revolution, the late Putuse Appolus, in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) in the 1960s.
“I have learned with sadness about the death of family friend and outstanding Namibian servant, Comrade Nora-Schimming-Chase,” he noted.

Schimming-Chase was among the first core group of diplomatic cadres selected to establish the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately after independence in 1990.

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.

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