New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: State Funeral For Iyambo

Windhoek — The late Minister of Education Dr Abraham Iyambo (52) will be given a State funeral at the Pionierspark cemetery, the government announced yesterday.

According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana the government has declared to hold a State funeral in honour of the late minister. Ua-Ndjarakana made the announcement yesterday, when he briefed the media about funeral arrangements for the late Iyambo.

The PS said a small delegation headed by the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Veikko Nghiwete, and close relatives of the late minister will fly with the presidential jet to London from Hosea Kutako International Airport today to go and fetch the remains of Iyambo.

The delegation is expected to return to Namibia on Thursday evening and is expected to land at Eros Airport in Windhoek. "Since it will be late when the delegation arrives, the entire nation is urged not to come to Eros Airport. Only the family members and government officials will be at Eros to receive the body," he urged.

On Friday morning the body will be taken to the late Dr Iyambo's residence in the Hochland Park surburb of Windhoek. Thereafter, the body will be moved to Parliament Gardens for a memorial service that will be held on Friday starting at 14h00.

The casket will lay in state until Saturday when members of the general public will have the opportunity to view the body throughout the night and to pay their last respects to the late minister whose death has left the entire nation in shock.

"When the body is lying in state, it is for the public to come and pay their last respects. But when the casket is closed it does not mean the guards don't want people to view the body - it's just that sometimes it is too windy," he said.

Further, Ua-Ndjarakana explained that public transportation will be available for Windhoek residents only. The designated pick-up points will be announced in due course.

In addition, once a period of national mourning has been declared, the national flag will be flown at half-mast for the duration of the mourning period.

The late Dr Iyambo will be interred at the Pionierspark cemetery on Saturday. His late sister Cecilia Ndishishi was also buried at the same cemetery last year.

The PS further blasted a local daily that insinuated 'secrecy' in its lead story, saying there is no secrecy surrounding Iyambo's death.

'There is no secrecy at all. The reason why people are not allowed to go to Eros Airport is just that we are trying to avoid a commotion, because the entire nation is in shock," he explained.

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