State funeral for Ondonga king

The late Ondonga king, Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, will be buried at Olukonda on 13 April.

01 April 2019 | Cultural

The eighteenth king of Ondonga, Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, who died on 26 March at the age of 86, will be buried near the Nakambale Museum at Olukonda on 13 April.

On Friday, President Hage Geingob and a delegation of cabinet ministers consulted the Elifas family about a state funeral.

A family elder, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Namibian Sun that the family had considered the government offer and agreed on 13 April as the funeral date.

“The decision by the State House was welcomed and both sides agreed to leave enough time for preparations, and that is why it was agreed to have the burial on 13 April,” the source said.

President Geingob said Elifas deserved a state funeral because of his role as chairman of the Council of Traditional Leaders since its inception in 1997.

“He will be accorded a state burial and that is why we are here to consult his family. As a leader of the traditional leaders, he was a national leader and that is why he deserves a state funeral. The date will be announced by the family, but it cannot be next week (this week),” Geingob said.

Geingob added that Elifas had fought a good fight to unite all the people of Namibia. He therefore urged the community of Ondonga and the royal family to be united.

“Let us now be united. It is painful that we put him into a painful situation when he was alive. All of us, Ondonga group and his family, let us come close, let us unite you to start with and then the whole Namibia,” urged Geingob.

The prime minister's office has set up a national preparatory committee for the state funeral. It consists of the executive directors of different government ministries and agencies, chaired by cabinet secretary George Simata. The committee held its first meeting on Friday.

Ondonga senior headman Naeman Amalwa told Namibian Sun that the executive director in the office of the prime minister, I-Ben Nashandi, was appointed as the funeral director.

The Olukonda cemetery near the Nakambale Museum is where many kings of the Ondonga kingdom are buried. It's also where Finnish missionary Martti Rautanen (Nakambale) was buried in 1926. Olukonda was the site of one of the first Finnish mission stations in Ovamboland, founded in 1871.


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