29 Jun 2014 14:50pm
OKAHANDJA, 29 JUN (NAMPA) - OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako was on Sunday laid to rest at Okahandja, where thousands of OvaHerero and other members of the public converged to witness the burial.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Prime Minister Hage Geingob and several other Cabinet ministers were also in Okahandja to pay their last respect to the departed chief.
Riruako died in the Roman Catholic Hospital following a long illness on 02 June this year. He was 79.
Pohamba, who delivered a brief speech at the event, urged the Namibian nation to remain united in fostering the spirit of the late Riruako.
He said Riruako was a great leader of the Namibian nation, and should be honoured by taking forth his commitment for his people and his sense of unity of purpose.
Pohamba said Riruako was a charismatic leader of his people, and his death leaves a void.
We have lost a great man. Riruako was a man who did a lot for his people and the Namibian nation at large. He shall be sorely missed, he said.
Riruako was accorded a State funeral, but OvaHerero traditional rituals were permitted at the gravesite, while the usual cavalry and infantry drilling accompanied the chief's casket from Okahandja's Commando No.1 of the Red Flag.
As per the custom of State funerals, the chief's coffin was lowered simultaneously with an 11-gun salute.
Riruako was laid to rest at the sacred burial site, alongside erstwhile OvaHerero leaders, including Hosea Kutako and Clemens Kapuuo.
It was after Kapuuo's death in 1978 that Riruako was installed at the helm of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority - a position he had occupied until his death.