Hero's send-off for HH

15 Oct 2016 15:30pm
By Anna Salkeus
WINDHOEK, 15 OCT (NAMPA) – Veteran politician Hidipo Hamutenya Saturday received a hero’s send-off at the Heroes’ Acre on the outskirts of Windhoek.
Hamutenya died at the age of 77 on 06 October 2016.
The casket of the liberation struggle icon was ushered into the arena of Heroes’ Acre by a guard of honour and brass band, shortly after President Hage Geingob and the widow and children of Hamutenya arrived.
The white tent reserved for members of the public was fully packed by the time the casket had arrived.
The African Union (AU), Namibian and military flags in front of the arena hung at half mast.
The casket was placed in front of the ‘eternal fire’ after a general salute by the guard of honour.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) pastor, Abisai Shejavali opened the proceedings with a scripture reading and prayer, and shared some of his memories of the late Hamutenya.
Shejavali said ‘HH’, as he was also known, was a great man and it was impossible to speak of all the good things he had done for Namibia.
Equally so, Hamutenya’s contribution to ELCIN was invaluable as he was a man with a generous spirit, who always assisted those in dire need, he added.
“He was a humble and forgiving gentleman, loved and hated, publically shamed – even by some he considered close to him - but he endured because he had great faith,” Shejavali said.
Meanwhile, the late Hamutenya’s nephew, Kennedy Hamutenya who thanked Namibians for their support during their time of mourning, described his uncle as a pillar of strength for the family.
The casket was then taken to the grave site by senior members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and pall-bearers.
The pall-bearers who carried the casket alongside the NDF members were former Speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Theo-Ben Guirirab; Ken Kwaku; liberation struggle icon, Fillemon Kanime; Heiko Lucks; Hanno Rumpf; and Mwahafar Ndilula.
The Namibian flag was then removed from the casket, folded and handed over to Hamutenya’s wife, Nangula.
The solemn sound of a trumpet played by one of the brass band members echoed into the Khomas Hochland mountain range which surrounded Heroes’ Acre.
The casket was then lowered into the ground concurrently with a 17-gun salute, after which the rite of committal and benediction was done by Dr Shejavali.
The late Hamutenya joins fallen liberation struggle heroes such as Nehale ya Mpingana, Captain Hendrik Witbooi and Jacob Marenga, who are buried a few metres away from his final resting place.
He is survived by his wife and four children.