Former youth and sport minister Kazenambo Kazenambo, who passed on Tuesday afternoon, wanted to be buried at Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa region, his cousin Ruben Tjamuaha told New Era yesterday.
He was 58. Affectionally known as KK, Kazenambo died at around 16h00 on Tuesday at the Tree-Side-Suite in Eros, Windhoek, a subacute care centre, designed to return patients home, or transition them to a lower level of care. Tjamuaha said his cousin has been battling Covid-19 since early June this year and was admitted at the Roman Catholic Hospital at the beginning of June.
“Kazenambo was first admitted at the Roman Catholic Hospital in June after having tested positive for Covid-19. After that, he was in and out of hospital up until the 6th of this month when he was again admitted at the same hospital where he was on Friday last week transferred to Tree-Side-Suite after being cleared of Covid-19,” Tjamuaha said. He said on Tuesday morning, he visited the late former minister and had a brief chat with him but he could sense that he was not well.
“Around 16h45 the same day, I received a call from the doctor that my cousin KK has passed,” Tjamuaha said. When asked where Kazenambo is likely to be buried, Tjamuaha said the Botswana-born Kazenambo’s wish was to be buried at Okahandja, however, he added that the family awaits the government’s decision as to where he will be buried.
“As you know, Kazenambo contributed significantly to the struggle for independence, so we await government directive on the burial,” Tjamuaha said. Born in Maun, Botswana, Kazenambo joined the ruling party, Swapo in 1979, at the age of 16.
In 1984, five years later, he travelled to Angola, where he received military training. In 1986, he joined Swapo’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) as a combatant. Prior to independence, 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, Sport and Culture until 2012. He was a member of Swapo’s politburo. Mourning Kazenambo’s passing, President Hage Geingob yesterday said he will be remembered for the contributions he made towards the development of Namibia in several capacities in which he served the Namibian people.
“During this hour of sadness for the family, President Geingob extends sincere condolences to the family, comrades and friends,” the Presidency said through spokesperson Alfredo Hengari.
Leader of the official opposition, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) McHenry Venaani said by virtue of Kazenambo passing, Namibia has become poorer. “Death has robbed this country of a dedicated servant of the people, an individual unwavering in his beliefs and ideals. Kazenambo always used his platform to speak truth to power, regardless of the implications such actions may have had,” Venaani said. He said the late Kazenambo has never shied away from criticising the government and its failures.
“His presence was imposing and he was a towering political figure with a low tolerance for mismanagement in whatever form it manifested itself. A true son of the Namibian soil and staunch advocate of restorative justice. He was a man of great magnitude and was held in high regard by his colleagues. Kazenambo’s legacy shall long endure,” said Venaani. The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) said the late Kazenambo will be remembered as a free Namibian who didn’t stand down to share his opinion, whether it was popular or unpopular.
“He was a man who loved this country and all the people of this country. He made that clear from time to time. He was a man who demonstrated that in a democracy, you can hold your opinion and still be free to listen to the different opinions of others. We have lost a giant indeed,” said the party. “We will miss him. He never had an equal in the political terrain, where he spoke his mind, where he stood up for those that are downtrodden, where he spoke up very strongly for justice, for equity, for peace, where he stood up for issues such as the genocide – even when his own political party did not do so.”