Covid-19: Former Rundu mayor Ihemba succumbs
19 January 2021 | People
Rundu mayor Gabriel Kanyanga has described former Rundu councillor Ralf Ihemba, who died from Covid-19 yesterday, as a hero and a loyal Swapo cadre.
Kanyanga confirmed that Ihemba’s had died of Covid-19 in a Windhoek hospital around 03:00 yesterday morning.
Rumours that Ihemba had died over the weekend were dispelled with confirmation that the politician had in fact died yesterday.
Details about Ihemba’s battle with the virus remain sketchy.
Ihemba served as a Rundu town council office-bearer for five years, representing the ruling Swapo Party from 2015 until 2020.
He served as deputy mayor to Verna Sinimbo, who is the current deputy minister of trade.
He briefly became mayor after a standoff with the top Swapo leadership in Windhoek, but was removed along with the other councillors as fighting intensified.
Eventually, the ministry appointed an administrator to run the town’s affairs until last year’s local authority elections when new office-bearers were elected.
Kanyanga said he was shocked by the news of Ihemba’s death.
“It was a shock. One does not know what to do. As the death is Covid-19 related, you don’t know where to turn to,” Kanyanga said.
“As a council we feel that we lost a hero, a friend and a brother. We don’t have words to describe him. We did not expect him to go this soon. It is a challenge,” Kanyanga said.
“What we are saying is that God must send us the energy to console us and the family.”
Attempts to get comment from former councillors were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.