EENHANA – The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation yesterday formally apologised to the Oukwanyama queen, Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu.
The organising committee of the late ambassador Hadino Hishongwa’s funeral will be probed after Nelumbu was offered a plastic chair to sit on at the funeral over the weekend. Deputy Minister of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (Mirco) Jennely Matundu, earlier yesterday said the organising committee must be able to explain what happened. Matundu acknowledged the disrespect shown to the queen. “A queen is a high dignitary person. She doesn’t deserve to be treated in such a humiliating way,” Matundu said. In a statement issued yesterday, Mirco said, “regretfully, the seating arrangements made were not appropriate, which resulted in meekulu Mwadinomho, being unintentionally placed on a normal plastic chair instead of an executive ceremonial chair; as is customary.
As a government, and particularly as the ministry responsible for State protocol, we view this error in a very serious light and we would like to offer our sincerest apology to meekulu Mwadinomho
and the people of the Ohangwena region. The ministry is dealing with the matter internally and will take appropriate action against those responsible.” After the photo of the queen went viral on Facebook, public members were shocked by what they labelled disrespect towards the queen in her own jurisdiction. The chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders, Immanuel /Gaseb also expressed his disappointment with the way the traditional leader was treated at the funeral over the weekend. /Gaseb said this is a big humiliation to the queen and the entire traditional leaders.
He blamed the staff from the international relations ministry for treating the queen unprofessionally. In addition, /Gaseb said he was also offered a plastic chair, however, later the officials gave him a luxurious chair. “I also saw the queen when she was sitting on the plastic chair. I wanted to question the protocols because I was not happy about it,” he said. Meanwhile, Oukwanyama spokesperson, Andrew Naikaku demanded the ministry apologise to the queen as soon as possible.
Naikaku said the entire Oukwanyama Traditional Authority did not like the way the queen was treated. “This is a big insult. A queen is a big person who deserves special treatment,” he lamented.