Former Prime Minister Nahas Angula said the late Kazenambo Kazenambo should have been accorded a hero’s funeral. Kazenambo died last Tuesday in a Windhoek hospital. He had battled Covid-19 for weeks.
The former youth and sports minister will be laid to rest on Saturday in the Okapuka area, where his great-grandfather Nikodemus Kavikunua was buried. President Hage Geingob conferred a state funeral on the late former minister, affectionately known as KK. “If Martin Shipanga was given an honour of national hero status, why not Kazenambo, who represented people in the diaspora, the people of Botswana? If I was the president, I would have honoured him with a hero’s funeral,” Angula opined.
He said this during a conversation with Universal Media’s Unomengi Kauapirura at the late Kazenambo’s residence outside Windhoek near Okapuka on Monday. Kazenambo started the Universal Media radio station a few years ago. The station has a licence to broadcast in the Okahandja area.
“Namibia today is poorer. Swapo party today is poorer. Comrade Kazenambo Kazenambo left an empty space in our midst. He has gone too early. We are here to remember his life, his sojourn on earth,” said Angula.
“His was a rich life full of energy and dynamism. He was always ahead of many of us. Some described him as a maverick, while others say he was emotional. Others would say he was unstable. Whatever description you attach to the personality of the late comrade Kazenambo Kazenambo, one thing is for sure, he fought for justice, equality and freedom.”
The Swapo stalwart said Kazenambo earned recognition from the top leadership of the ruling party, a recognition that led to him being appointed as a deputy minister and later as a full minister.
“He served those portfolios with honour and commitment. We celebrate his life. We are saddened that he departed too early,” he continued.
“We celebrate his life. We are saddened that he departed too early to see his campaign for reparation payments by Germany not being realised in his lifetime.”
He also worked as a journalist for the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) and the Voice of Namibia radio programme.
After independence, Kazenambo was elected to the fourth National Assembly of Namibia in 2005. He then served as deputy minister of Local and Regional Government, Housing and Rural Development until 2010, and as minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture until 2012. He was a member of Swapo’s politburo.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister’s executive director I-Ben Nashandi yesterday refuted Angula’s claims that Shipanga was conferred a hero’s funeral.
“As far as I can remember, the only people to have been conferred a hero’s funeral of late were the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo and Nicky Iyambo. Hero’s funerals are scarce,” he said.
Nashandi explained that a person can be accorded a state funeral and still be buried at the Heroes’ Acre, which was true in Shipanga’s case.
President Geingob honoured the late teacher and liberation struggle veteran Shipanga with a state funeral in July 2020.
There are three types of funerals in government’s listing. An official funeral includes a six-gun salute, and costs around N$80 000; a state funeral includes a 17-gun salute, and costs around N$200 000; while a hero’s funeral includes a 21-gun salute. Nashandi did not say how much a hero’s funeral costs.
Mourning… Former Prime Minister Nahas Angula in conversation with Universal Media presenter Unomengi Kauapirura at the late Kazenambo Kazenambo’s residence.