RUNDU - The funeral status of Rundu’s former mayor Hilka Leevi who died at the age of 66 on October 28 is yet to be decided as the committee responsible for deciding on what funeral status to accord her has not yet sat and thus the memorial and burial arrangements are still unclear.
The committee under Veterans Affairs under the Office of the Vice-President will decide whether Leevi will be accorded a state funeral or an official funeral.
The Kavango East regional governor, Samuel Mbambo, last week told this reporter his office forwarded the notice of death to the Office of the Vice-President but he has yet to get feedback, and now it is three days to go before her memorial service and her relatives and other mourners do not know what to do, or what kind of arrangement the people can make because the memorial and burial programme needs to be prepared in accordance with her status.
The implication is that the programme may not be prepared accordingly to befit the status of the late Leevi.
The programme is essential as it will list the speakers and give them time to make the necessary preparations.
“We have sent the death notice to the Office of the President, specifically to the Office of the Vice-President where veterans affairs are – we are awaiting a response on which level this burial will be held,” Mbambo said last week.
New Era approached the office of the governor who is the representative of the head of state in the region and he was also still awaiting feedback by 15h30 yesterday afternoon.
Talking to this reporter last week, Mbambo described the death of the Swapo veteran and former Rundu mayor Leevi as a great loss to the region.
In a short telephone interview, the governor noted that many should emulate how the late former mayor lived her life, her good deeds. “Even though she was wheelchair-bound after she was injured in Cassinga in Angola before independence, Leevi didn’t give up but continued to serve her people and the nation in her profession as a nurse in a wheelchair,” he said.
“She didn’t take her disability as an excuse not to work, she put that aside and worked until she retired. This is a great loss to us – if you look at her contributions since she was a youth, she went into exile and came back and continued to work as a nurse whilst she was wheelchair-bound, and she also worked in local government as a local authority councillor. The late Hilka Leevi dedicated her life to work for people, she didn’t live her life for herself,” Mbambo added.
She was a member of the local authority of Rundu on the Swapo ticket for 10 years from 2005 as an ordinary member of council, and she later served as mayor from 2010 to 2015.