Leaders hail late Chief Riruako

OTJONGOMBE: Various political, traditional and community leaders hailed the late Chief Kuaima Riruako as a great leader of his people who never wavered in his quest to address the injustices facing the OvaHerero.

They were speaking at an event to honour the late OvaHerero Paramount Chief at the village of Otjongombe some 150 kilometres south-east of Gobabis in the Omaheke Region on Saturday.

Otjongombe is the traditional homestead of the Riruako clan, and it was here where the last traditional rites and rituals where performed to bid a proper farewell to the OvaHerero Paramount Chief, who died on 02 June.

Omaheke Regional Governor, Festus Ueitele described the late Chief as “a giant amongst giants” and an unassuming leader who commanded respect through his humility.

He said Riruako will be missed by all Namibians, despite their tribe, race, and political affiliation, as his leadership transcended tribal or political lines, making him a national leader.

“Chief Riruako was an intellectual, pioneer, a cultural leader and also a social activist. He will be remembered as a man who decided to address the injustices done by the Germans to not only the people he led, but the Namibian people,” he said.

Ueitele said serving with the late Riruako in various parliamentary committees during his stint as Member of Parliament gave him great insight into the departed leader’s leadership capabilities.

He said Riruako always provided sound advice, which marked his character as a transformational leader.

DTA of Namibia president McHenry Venaani described Riruako as “a leader like no other”, and a man who led an exemplary life in all aspects of his life.

“Chief Riruako was a father figure to me. He was the type of leader who was uncompromising in any of his obligations; he would carry out a task to the very end and never wavered in any cause he took on. He will be greatly missed,” he said.

Chief Bethold Tjiundje of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority in Aminuis pleaded with the OvaHerero to maintain the bond of unity and harmony which Riruako believed in as a fitting tribute to the departed OvaHerero leader.

“Let us never forget what Chief Riruako stood for. He was a big believer in unity of purpose, and we need to take such example by being a unified force at all cost. It is only through such unity of purpose that we would be able to honour the memory of Chief Riruako,” Tjiundje said.

The chief’s body was transported back to Windhoek on Sunday, where it will be kept until his burial in Okahandja next Sunday.