Windhoek, September 2- – Namibian academic Professor Joseph Diescho has questioned the wisdom of President Hage Geingob’s decision to bestow a hero’s funeral on Marco Hausiku while former liberation struggle soldier Kazenambo Kazenambo received a State farewell.
Both Swapo Deputy Secretary-General Hausiku and former Youth Minister Kazenambo died recently of Covid-19-related complications.
Another Covid-19 victim whom Diescho believes has played a bigger role in nationhood than Hausiku is Mburumba Kerina, one of the first petitioners to the United Nations for Namibian independence on behalf of the Herero Chiefs’ Council.
Kazenambo’s State burial took place last weekend at Farm Okapuka outside Windhoek, while funeral arrangements for Hausiku are still underway.
Announcing his decision to honor Hausiku with a hero’s funeral, Geingob described the late politician as “a highly dependable freedom fighter and disciplined servant of the Namibian people and the Swapo Party”.
Diescho, speaking from his base in Germany where he relocated after a fallout with top Government and Swapo officials, said: “There is something profoundly unintelligent and upside down with the practice of state and hero’s funerals in our country. It is unfortunate that one has to say this now when we should be united in mourning one of our national leaders, Markus Mukoso Hausiku, who in all fairness is deserving of our respect and dignified send-off.
“A state funeral, yes, but not a hero’s funeral. As a nation, we need to be very honest with ourselves and what we say about ourselves. It would be helpful to all of us if we agree on the fundamental definitions. Not all people who did something meaningful should be buried by the State, therefore at taxpayers’ expense,” the former journalist said.
“In these difficult times, a hero’s funeral should be reserved for those who literally and figuratively placed their life and limb in harm’s way to protect or defend others. It is a dangerous anomaly to deny Kazenambo Kazenambo a hero’s burial after he sacrificed his youth and joined the armed struggle to liberate Namibia.”
At the 2017 Swapo elective congress, Kazenambo campaigned for ‘Team Swapo’ that opposed Geingob’s ‘Team Harambee’ slate, which earned a clean sweep at the congress. Hausiku was part of the Harambee campaign team.
“To be clear, KK [Kazenambo] was not treated as a hero because he was fiercely critical of the manner in which the country is being mismanaged by the Harambee loyal society,” Diescho charged.
“It cannot be right that Professor Mburumba Kerina who, at his tender age, crisscrossed the world convincing world leaders that there was a place somewhere near South Africa and which he renamed to what we are today, was buried like a pauper because he was not a member of Harambee at the time of his passing.”
The academic and public speaker added that even Dirk Mudge, a former white nationalist politician who later embraced multiracial democracy, sacrificed more than many of the perceived Namibian heroes. Mudge died of Covid-19 in 2020.
“Dirk Mudge sacrificed more than we could imagine when he, as a privileged white Namibian, realized that he could no longer see himself superior to his fellow black Namibian citizens by virtue of race, and walked out of a meeting with South African prime minister John Vorster in demand for equality of all Namibians.
“His family went through the horror of rejection and death threats from those who believed blacks to be inferior and saw him as a traitor. He received no official recognition because he stuck to his inner belief that Namibia belonged to all who live in it.”
Diescho also mentioned Judge Pio Teek, who died recently, as a revered player in Namibia’s struggle for independence.
“He got no official recognition while those who did nothing to build our small nation are being accorded state and official funerals left, right and center because they died as obsequious or aspiring members of the amoral Harambee.
“Sooner or later, the nation will have no faith in these practices that have become a show of knee-jerk reactions with no value proposition for the coming generations,” he said.
By NDN Reporter