Hundreds of mourners from across the nation paid their respects on Saturday to Katahunda Matundu, former Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (now Popular Democratic Movement) political commissioner, who was given a dignified burial at Okarundu Kozombangane in Opuwo.
Matundu died last week after a lengthy illness. He was 66.
Okarundu Kozombangane is to the people of Kaokoland what Heroes’ Acre is to the Namibian government.
The shrine is historically noteworthy because it serves as a living memorial to the heroes of Kaokoland, notably those of the Otjikako Traditional Authority. Matundu has now joined the ranks of other heroes such as Mbumbijazo Muharukua, Chief Paulus Uziruapi Tjavara, Jamemi Muharukua, Tjiriazondana Kurooro, Uazenga Nderura, former Opuwo Rural councillor Uaurikua Kakuva, and others at Okarundu.
Matundu dubbed the “hero of his time”, has been said to have made significant contributions to the development of the Kunene Region.
PDM’s leader McHenry Venaani remarked during Matundu’s funeral ceremony at his traditional homestead that Matundu was at the apex of PDM emergence and that the party owed its existence to him.
Venaani went on to say that Matundu’s contribution to the battle for independence will be remembered for many years to come.
“Matundu fought for this country’s independence, he was an advocate for peace, unity, and prosperity, and he will not be forgotten,” he continued.
According to Venaani, Matundu was amongst a group of Herero leaders that travelled to Botswana before independence to repatriate Herero people who fled to Botswana during the 1904 genocide, together with Muvi Tjiho, Absai Kandirikirira, and Uahuma Hei.
“He was one of the few people who stood steadfastly for the negotiations of the genocide case, and he mobilised other people to join the fight for the full restoration of the Ovaherero people through the Hosea Kutako Foundation in the Kunene Region. During the Resolution 435 negotiations, he brought 800 Himba communities to the table,” Venaani remarked.
Venaani further stated that Matundu’s burial in Okarundu Kozombangane was a result of his actions.
Matundu served in the Opuwo Town Council from 1992 until 2002.
Swapo’s deputy secretary general, Uahekua Herunga, also spoke at the event, saying the Namibian government will forever be grateful for Matundu’s contributions during independence.
Herunga stated that the late Matundu’s contribution to the Kunene Region’s economic independence will not be forgotten.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency