Riruako Was Courageous – Pohamba

The late OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako will be remembered for his openness and courage when expressing himself on issues affecting his people and the country. President Hifikepunye Pohamba said this in a speech delivered by Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob at Parliament Gardens during the memorial service on Friday.

“He was ever bold and vocal on national issues and expressed his views freely and honestly,” said the President, adding that Riruako would especially be remembered for the role he played in dealing with the Namibian-German past.

The President praised the chief for standing firm on his demands for reparation and introducing a motion in parliament which was widely debated and eventually unanimously approved, calling for reparation for victims of genocide committed by imperial Germany.

“In that way, he demonstrated to his community in particular and to the people of Namibia in general how gly he felt about the need to address the past injustices committed by German occupation forces in Namibia during 1904-1908,” stated Pohamba. He said the late chief equally played a prominent role in the return of human remains of the victims of genocide.

“Chief Riruako is no more, but his legacy will live on and his actions will be remembered and emulated by many of his compatriots,” he said.

Chief Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders said even though he had learned that Riruako was hospitalized, he had hoped the chief would get better and recover soon “so that we can continue to provide leadership to our people”.

“Unfortunately, the wish of the Almighty God cannot be disputed, therefore as Christians, we must stand firm, accept and console the family members of the late, especially the Ovaherero community,” Elifas said in a speech read by !Oeuml #Gan Damara Clan Chief, Immanuel Gacircseb, who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders.

Elifas said Riruako visited him at Onamungundo Palace and brought him an expensive bull as a gift and also took the opportunity to teach him the history of the Ovaherero.

“He related that some of his great grandparents were actually born in villages in Ondonga such as Elombe, Onamutene, Ondjondjo,” said Elifas, adding Ovaherero were allowed to settle in those villages “because of the spirit of mutual brotherhood that existed between Omkwaniilwa Nehale lya Mpingana and Ombara Maharero and Ombara Tjamuaha”.

Elifas appealed to the Ovaherero community to remain united in this dark moment and abide by their customary norms when handling chieftainship succession issues since it is an issue that is bound to create division among Namibian communities.

“The leadership of the late Chief Riruako has made history as he was vocal in both political and traditional matters. He was indeed a brave man who stood tall in addressing issues of common interest,” he said.

Chief Riruako, 79, died on 2 June after a short illness in the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek and he was buried by thousands of mourners at Okahandja, who included Pohamba and several Cabinet ministers and chiefs.

He was buried at the Okahandja sacred burial site where his predecessors, Chief Hosea Kutako and Chief Clemens Kapuuo are also interred.

Source : New Era