KATIMA MULILO - Retired Colonel Gallen Mazila Kolokwe was laid to rest yesterday at Muyako village in the Katima Mulilo Rural constituency.
He was 69. Kolokwe, who died on 21 June this year, was accorded a state funeral by President Hage Geingob.
“Our hearts are broken as we come to terms with his loss, however, despite our sadness, we appreciate a life that was lived with commitment, vigour and dedication. Today we proudly acknowledge that we respect and believe in Comrade Kolokwe, because he was a man who fulfilled his duty in more ways than one,” said Geingob in a speech read on his behalf by Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu.
Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba and founding president Sam Nujoma also paid tribute to Kolokwe, describing him as a dedicated colonel and a lawyer who forged a rich legacy and left indelible marks in the Namibian Defence Force.
Kolokwe joined the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), Swapo’s military wing in exile in 1975.
He received basic military training at Oshatotwa in Zambia.
Before being recalled from the battlefront at the end of 1976 in order to study at the United Nations Institute for Namibia, Kolokwe took part in many battles between 1975-1976.
He was amongst the former PLAN combatants who joined the Namibian Defence Force after independence and rose through the ranks until he became a colonel.
He is survived by his wife, six children and grandchildren.