9 July 2018

Namibia: Mass Burial for Massacre Victims

The five massacre victims, murdered despite the police being alerted to a potentially explosive situation which they failed to respond to citing a lack of transport, were laid to rest on Saturday at the cemetery at Sauyemwa by family and grief-stricken Rundu residents.

Sad scenes characterised the burial of the victims of the massacre that shocked the nation.

The deceased, 77-year-old Ndongo Ntumba, Ndara Elizabeth, 46, and the three minors Musenge Petrus, 6, Daniel Hausiku, 4, and Musenge Elifas, aged 3, were all buried in one mass grave. The 20-year-old Jesaya Chuhunda allegedly killed his grandmother, mother and his three nephews last week on Sunday. Mourners gathered in a sanctuary for a funeral at 11h00, deep in grief and sorrow.

Although other funeral parlours wanted to provide the coffins and burial service, AVBOB reacted promptly and provided the coffins for the three children and the burial service for free, while the other two coffins were claimed from the pension and disability grants as one was a pensioner and the other adult had a disability.

"We got the request from youths who organised themselves after the victims were killed to assist the family in mobilising support and when I got their written request asking us to support the family, I sent it to our head office in Windhoek, and they immediately responded that we should do it without any delay," said AVBOB regional manager for the two Kavango regions, Martinus Ambambi. Other entities also stepped in to support the family in various ways possible taking the burden away from the bereaved family.

The organised youth group who referred to themselves as 'Pray for Ndama' took the lead and initiated first aid to the family when the incident happened. They also dug and constructed the grave. The group organised by Jerry Kauyu with Haingura Raphael Netho and Annakletah Haikera took to social media and mobilised those that were touched to support with contributions and prayers.

The response was massive as some of the town's residents assisted in different ways - some donated building materials which was used to build the grave.

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