Swapo has paid glowing tribute to the late Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro as well as former Namibian Defence Force chief John Mutwa.
Both Rukoro and Mutwa passed on last week.
Rukoro (66), who died of Covid-19 in the early hours of Friday, was at the forefront of seeking reparations from Germany over the genocide committed against the Ovaherero and Nama between 1904-1908. Rukoro has been accorded a state funeral by President Hage Geingob.
He served the country in various capacities, being former deputy minister of justice, attorney general, as well as CEO of FNB Namibia, Sanlam Namibia and Meatco.
He was in September 2014 named as the Ovaherero Paramount Chief following the death of Kuaima Riruako, who died the same year.
The ruling party’s secretary general Sophia Shaningwa described the death of Rukoro as a great loss not only to his family and community, but to the Namibian nation at large.
“It is for that reason that the Swapo party on behalf of its leadership, rank and file, register our heartfelt condolences to the family, the entire Ovaherero community and to the Namibian nation,” she said.
Meanwhile, the ruling party also paid tribute to the late Mutwa, eulogising him as a formidable soldier and national hero.
“For having served his country with distinction and honour, the Swapo Party takes this opportunity on behalf of its leadership, rank and file, to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, veterans of the liberation struggle, and to the Namibian nation,” Shaningwa said.
Conferred the honour of national hero, Mutwa (60) passed on last week Thursday after a long illness. He was appointed NDF chief by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2013.
The late Mutwa served the NDF in various capacities since 1990 until his retirement in 2020. Prior to that, he was a freedom fighter, having joined the Swapo revolutionary military wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) in Zambia in 1975.
Post-independence, Mutwa served on several regional missions, including as army chief of staff, deployed to Operation Atlantic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and later as defence attaché in Angola.