State Funeral for Chief Riruako

The late Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako of the Ovaherero, who passed away in the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek on Monday from high blood pressure related complications, will be accorded a state funeral the family has confirmed.

Although his nephew Dr Hoze Riruako confirmed the state funeral he said it would also involve traditional Ovaherero funeral rituals.

The younger Riruako, who is the family spokesperson, ended speculation about funeral arrangements when he disclosed that the family has accepted the government’s request to accord the late Chief Riruako, who was well liked across the political spectrum, a state funeral. President Hifikepunye Pohamba earlier this week paid a glowing tribute to the late chief describing him as his best friend. “Yes, we will accept the gesture. We are just waiting for government to come back to us,” he said, adding that they have however not settled on a date when the state funeral is to take place and that plans are still to be finalized.

Riruako mapped out the programme for the next three weeks until the final resting day of the chief on Sunday, June 29 at the sacred burial site of the Ovaherero at Okahandja, but said rituals would be performed in Windhoek over the next two weeks, while a funeral organizing committees would plan the way ahead.

He said in the third week, the remains of Chief Riruako would be transported to Toasis in the Aminuis constituency to the burial site of his uncle, Chief Hosea Kutako, before it is taken to Otjongombe from where the late chief hails.

After that, his body would be brought back to Windhoek for a state funeral, before it is taken to Okahandja on Friday, June 27 for two days of mourning and rituals until the traditional burial on Sunday. Two wives and sixteen children survive the late Chief Riruako (79).

The late chief was very vocal about the highly charged political issue of the German genocide against the Ovaherero, Nama and other ethnic groups, as well as the demand for reparations.

He tabled a historic motion in Parliament six years ago, which was passed compelling the government to take the issue up with the German government, an undertaking President Pohamba pledged his government would pursue, including succeeding Namibian governments.

The contents of the motion have already been communicated to the German government.

Source : New Era