Late reverend Willem Konjore has been hailed for his fairness and impartiality, and praised for his uncompromising stance on principles. These glowing accolades were attached to the life of the former minister, deputy speaker and deacon following his passing in the early hours of Friday at a Windhoek hospital. He was 75. Konjore, a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1989, also served as deputy speaker of the National Assembly from 2000 to 2005, environment and tourism minister in 2005, and was moved to the youth, national service, sports and culture portfolio in 2008 before he retired from active politics in 2010.
In 2014, Konjore was conferred the Most Brilliant Order of the Sun, Second Class. President Hage Geingob extended condolences to the family of the late Konjore, saying, “it is with sadness that I have learnt of the passing of a dear comrade, friend and former Swapo Member of Parliament in the National Assembly. The passing of deacon Willem Konjore is a painful loss to the country, Swapo and the entire church community in Namibia, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Deacon Konjore was a respected national leader who contributed immensely to the liberation movement, and will be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the development of Namibia after independence.”
“The late honourable reverend Konjore was an icon of democracy, well-known across the floor of the House, highly respected for his fairness and impartiality, and praised for his uncompromising stance on principles when the House was divided and a vote was required,” National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi said on Friday. “We at the National Assembly will remember honourable reverend Konjore as a thinker, a freedom fighter, a religious leader and above all a democrat, who never compromised on his faith,” he added.
Katjavivi said Konjore contributed immensely to the drafting of the Namibian Constitution, and the crafting of laws for an independent Namibia. “As we celebrate the life and times of honourable reverend Konjore, may we find solace in the fact that he has completed his dignified life journey with dedication to serve God and Namibia with utmost dedication,” he observed.
Leader of the official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani conveyed his deepest condolences to the family and friends of Konjore. “Namibia has lost a dear friend and a reputable individual. He shall be fondly remembered. Honourable Venaani prays that God Almighty grants peace and comfort to his near and dear ones, and may reverend Konjore rest peacefully in the sweet arms of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.
//Kharas governor Aletha Frederick said in honouring the man of the cloth that he was someone who played an important role in securing Namibia’s independence, and also contributed towards the peace and stability being enjoyed today in the country.
‘’Willem Konjore was a person who was always ready to guide and advise us on issues directly involving us like politics, national heritage and culture,’’ she noted. The governor said //Kharas residents and the Namibian nation has indeed loss an icon and a hero.
‘’We are really saddened by the passing of reverend Konjore, but in these times one can expect to lose a loved one at any time,” said Frederick. “On behalf of the //Kharas community and the Swapo regional leadership, allow me to express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. May God give you the strength in this time of mourning,’’ the governor continued.
Willem Konjore was a teacher, clergyman, politician, MP as well as Cabinet member.