The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, in an official statement, extended heartfelt apologies to the Oukwanyama Queen, Meekulu Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu, for an oversight during the recent State burial of the late Ambassador Hadino Timothy Hishongwa held at Eenhana Shrine in the Ohangwena Region.
The funeral service took place on 16 September 2023.
Hishongwa was a renowned diplomat who not only served the Namibian Nation in various capacities but was also a close advisor to the Queen of the Oukwanyama.
Amidst the solemnity of the occasion, a significant protocol blunder was committed. The beloved Oukwanyama Queen was mistakenly seated on a regular plastic chair, as opposed to the executive ceremonial chair that is traditionally reserved for individuals of her stature.
This oversight resulted in considerable distress among attendees and those who witnessed the proceedings.
Expressing deep regret over the incident, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Jenelly Matundu, stated: “As the Ministry responsible for State Protocol, we acknowledge and deeply regret this oversight. Our sincerest apologies go out to Meekulu Mwadinomho and the residents of the Ohangwena Region.”
The deputy minister added that in an effort to ensure such missteps are avoided in the future, the Ministry is taking internal corrective actions.
“Those responsible will face appropriate consequences, reaffirming the government’s commitment to upholding the nation’s traditions and customs with the utmost respect,” she assured. Matunda said the entire incident serves as a solemn reminder of the importance of meticulous planning, especially during occasions that honour the legacy and contributions of the nation’s most revered individuals.