Namibia: Hundreds Bid Farewell to Rukoro

Hundreds of mourners defied Covid-19 public health regulations to bid farewell to Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, who was laid to rest at Okahandja yesterday.

Rukoro, who died about a month ago in a Windhoek hospital from Covid-19 complications aged 66, was buried at the heroes’ shrine. He has been credited, among others, for championing the cause of the Nama and Ovaherero people in seeking reparations from Germany over the 1904-1908 genocide committed by that colonial power.

Before his burial yesterday, his body was taken to his traditional homestead at his native village of Omutukururu in the Otjozondjupa region. Family members, political leaders, tribal elders and business executives offered eulogies in a virtual ceremony for Rukoro on Friday.

In his message, Nama Traditional Leaders Association Gaob Johannes Isaack said Rukoro followed in the footsteps of his mothers and fathers, and for this reason rejected the reconciliation and reconstruction agreement signed between the governments of Namibia and Germany, no matter what the consequences might be.

“He had two final assignments which he has entrusted to us. We shall fight tooth and nail to nourish the bond between the Nama and Ovaherero people,” he said.

“Equally, we shall fight the continued salient genocide today committed against these two nations. This I promise to the world. I may not see the final freedom of our people, just as PC Rukoro did not see it, but our children and grandchildren shall hold the torch, for it is a long walk to freedom.”