Bishop Kamburona deserved veteran status: Rukoro

The OvaHerero Paramount Chief, Vekuii Rukoro on Sunday lashed out at the government for not recognising the late Bishop Assaria Kamburona as a veteran of the Namibian liberation struggle.

Speaking during the bishop’s burial ceremony in Okahandja, Rukoro said the late Kamburona was an exemplary leader of the country’s struggle against apartheid colonialism as an underground freedom fighter.

“He was a patriot, a struggle icon and a veteran of the liberation struggle. But after all his countless revolutionary contributions to our country’s independence, including his personal and direct involvement of getting the founding father of Namibia Dr Sam Nujoma across the border to Botswana, he remained unrecognised as a veteran of the liberation struggle by the government,” he said.

Approached for comment, the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Nickey Iyambo said that he cannot say much on the issue and a clear answer can only be given by the Veterans Board.

He, however, explained to Nampa on Monday that should people feel they deserve to be granted veteran status, they should apply and go through the process that is in place.

“In order to be a veteran of the liberation struggle one should have been consistent and persistent throughout the liberation struggle,” said the minister.

Kamburona died at his home in Katutura, Windhoek on 27 December 2014, aged 83.

He was born on 05 November 1931 in Cape Town, South Africa, and became the leader of the Oruuano Church in 1976.

The bishop was a former President of the Council of Churches in Namibia and also a member of the OvaHerero Chiefs’ Council under Chief Hosea Kutako.