ONAMUNGUNDO - President Hage Geingob has called for unity among the faction-riven Aandonga who have been at each other’s throats even since before the death of Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.
The president addressed the media at the former palace of the late Elifas at Onamungundo village. Geingob, who was accompanied by a big delegation of parliamentarians and other senior government officials including Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, visited the Kauluma family to console them and the discuss government’s decision to accord the late king a state funeral.
The royal family has consented to the state burial and Omukwaniilwa Elifas will be buried at the Ondonga royal family burial place at Olukondo on April 13.
It was Elifas’ wish to be laid to rest at his family burial place.
According to Geingob, the late Elifas was a peaceful man and a unifier who brought together all Namibians, irrespective of their tribal, ethnic affiliation or skin colour.
“It will be painful if his death separates us when he united all of us. Let us unite, let us come close as community, as his family. Let his death unite all of us,” said Geingob.
Omukwaniilwa Elifas died in the early morning hours of Tuesday following a long battle with illness. Over the years the royal family including his immediate family have been hostile towards each other because of the possible successor of Omukwaniilwa.
Elifas himself appointed his nephew Fillemon Shuumbwa in 2012 as his successor but a different faction opposed this appointment, backing another member of the royal family, Oscar Sheehama, as the preferred successor. New Era understands that a third contender who is a female member of the royal family also has the backing of another faction.
But Geingob urged all people to learn from the life of Elifas whose character was defined by peace and unity.
He said Elifas did not only unite the people of Ondonga but he led the traditional authority council of Namibia and under his leadership all traditional leaders have been united for decades.
“He led them with respect. He was a leader that they listened to, that they respected and today they [traditional leaders] are still united. Yes we all come from different ethnicities, different groups and we should be proud of that but we must unite as Namibians. He [Elifas] was a man who didn’t have any outsider, everybody was welcome and we must learn that from him,” said Geingob.
Recalling his fond memories of the king, Geingob said he remembers visiting Elifas on his birthday.
“[John] Walenga asked me to buy a guitar for his birthday. When we came here and gave it to him… and he started playing, I was shocked, that was my happiest and an unexpected moment that I had with him,” said Geingob as he smiled.
Apart from Geingob, Mbumba and other senior government officials, Founding President Sam Nujoma, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, traditional leaders including Chief Herman Iipumbu of Uukwambi, Uukwaludhi Chief Matias Walaula of Omabandja, Ohamba Martha Madinomomho yaKristian Nelumbu of Oukwanyama and Chief Sam Kambazembi of the Ovaherero, among others, also visited the former palace.
By yesterday morning, over 500 community members of Ondonga had gathered at the former Onamungundo palace to attend the church service held in honour of their fallen Omukwaniilwa. A number of choirs are also queuing up to register for daily appearances at the ongoing daily prayer hours at the Elifas residence,
“We don’t want to discriminate – all churches are asked to pray for peace to prevail during the mourning days and to bring peace in the kingdom through prayers,” said Naeman Amalwa, one of Elifas’ senior headmen and a spokesperson for the Ondonga Traditional Authority.
2019-04-01 08:44:01 20 days ago