OKAHAO: President Hifikepunye Pohamba says King Jafet Malenga Munkundi of Ongandjera Traditional Authority, who passed away in the Windhoek Central Hospital on 26 July, has left a void in his immediate family.
Speaking during Munkundi’s funeral service at Okahao Town in the Omusati Region, Pohamba stated that the death of the 83-year-old King of Ongandjera has also left void in his community, the Omusati Region and Council of Traditional Leaders (CTL) in Namibia of which he was an active member.
“As we lay him to rest, we join the widow, his children and great grandchildren in mourning this sad loss,” the President stated.
At the same time, Pohamba added, members of the CTL have lost a dependable colleague. The Head of State told hundreds of mourners, who turned up for the funeral that Munkundi will also be missed for his active contributions to the work of the CTL which has a responsibility to advise the country’s President on matters related to the utilization of communal land.
According to Pohamba, traditional leaders serve as important pillars in the communities. “In addition to the duties assigned to them under the Traditional Authorities Act, they have, since time immemorial, provided leadership to our communities and serve as custodians of our traditional values and our cultural norms.
Speaking at the same funeral, the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) Dr Shekutaamba V.V. Nambala cited that traditional leaders are there to promote unity and welfare of the community as stipulated in the Namibian Constitution and the Local Authorities Act.
Nambala described Munkundi as a great man, peaceful, humble and lived simply in the society. The ELCIN bishop then advised Namibian leaders at all levels also to respect the church procedure and to serve as a unifying force in the communities.
Munkundi was the 24th king of Ongandjera Traditional Authority and was that authority’s long-serving head after succeeding Uushona Shiimi who died in a car accident near Ogongo village also in the Omusati Region in 1971.
Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma, some of the heads of traditional authorities in Namibia, several cabinet ministers and members of Parliament also attended the funeral.