MAHUNDU – Former Namibian Defence Force chief John Sinvula Mutwa was yesterday laid to rest at Mahundu village in the Katima Mulilo Rural constituency.
His burial was accompanied by a 17-gun salute, befitting his status as national hero.
Mutwa was accorded a state funeral and conferred the honour of a national hero by President Hage Geingob.
The late Mutwa served the NDF in various capacities since 1990, including being appointed NDF chief by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2013, a position he held until his retirement in 2020.
Prior to that, he was a freedom fighter, having joined the Swapo military wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), in Zambia during 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.
Many speakers, including founding President Sam Nujoma and former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, had nothing but words of praise in
their tribute messages to the fallen hero. Geingob, in a speech read on his behalf by defence minister Frans Kapofi, described Mutwa as a dedicated servant of the nation.
“It is an honour to pay tribute to a soldier par excellence. As we unite in mourning and grief, we celebrate the gallantry of an exceptional fighter
and servant of the Namibian people,” said Geingob.
Geingob further encouraged the family of the late Mutwa, particularly his children, to emulate their father and “rise from this moment of pain to uphold his legacy and the legacy of the Mutwa family”.
Mutwa is survived by his wife Selma, mother Catherin Mutakatala, his children and five siblings.