‘Rukoro’s burial must not breed more funerals’: Chief Kapuuo

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Ovitoto chief Vipuira Kapuuo says the burial of the late Ovaherero Paramount Chief slated for Sunday should not become a super-spreader of COVID-19 and a breeding ground for more deaths.

Kapuuo said this to Nampa at his Windhoek residence on Wednesday, where this agency sought clarity on the burial of the paramount chief and associated logistics as COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an unprecedented pace.

Kapuuo, who is acting Ovaherero Paramount Chief, appealed for calm ahead of Rukoro’s burial, which many Namibians are seemingly planning on attending.

According to messages circulating on social media, a convoy of 2 000 cars is being organised to accompany the remains of the chief.

This attitude, he warned, would only cause more havoc than good in Namibia’s quest to curb the spread of the deadly virus and its adverse impacts.

At present, public gatherings are limited to 10 people.

Before Rukoro’s demise on 18 July to COVID-19, he implored his subjects to adhere to the safety protocols and avoid gatherings such as funerals and weddings.

“I was shocked to hear that 90 per cent of those in intensive care units across the country are from this tribe. Those who are dying from COVID-19, the majority are from this tribe. Our tradition, behaviour, is killing us,” Rukoro was quoted as saying by the daily newspaper, New Era.

Kapuuo did not veer from the late chief’s clarion call.

“I am not moving away from the paramount chief’s call. This virus is deadly. Let’s avoid unnecessary gatherings and obey the health protocols put in place by the government to avoid a situation whereby funerals breed more funerals,” said Kapuuo.

Preliminary information indicates that memorial services are earmarked for Windhoek on Friday and Okahandja the following day.

Rukoro’s remains will also on Saturday be taken to his native village of Omutukururu in the Otjozondjupa Region’s Coblenz area before returning to Okahandja.

On Sunday, Rukoro’s remains will be interred at the heroes’ shrine.

Source: Namibia Press Agency