New Era (Windhoek)

7 February 2013

Namibia: Iyambo's Demise Devastates SPYL

Windhoek — The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) is shattered by the sudden and untimely death last Saturday of the Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo.

"At the time when the saddest news in the life of our nation reached us, the National Executive Committee (NEC) was at Efinde village, in the Okongo Constituency of the Ohangwena Region," said SPYL secretary Dr Elijah Ngurare in a media statement issued on Tuesday.

"The normal became abnormal - happiness became sorrow - hope became despair - and to date our hearts and spirits are at the lowest peak (sic). We await answers and direction from the Lord of humanity," said the SPYL leader.

"Indeed, our spirits sank to the bottomless pit of sorrowful shock and dismay. The Lion of Namibia's Education is no more; the candle of hope for the Namibian child is no more; the father of Namibia's free primary education is no more," eulogized Ngurare as he joined Namibian mourners from all walks of life who are equally devastated by the loss.

"Founding Chairperson of the Swapo Party Think Tank has gone to the ancestors. A man who has transformed the fishing industry in the interest of all Namibians and who has affectionately come to be known as "Dr Fish" has departed this world. In silence we drove to Windhoek aware of this sudden departure, in denial of its reality, but also conscious of the inevitability of such a departure. Indeed, Dr Abraham Iyambo departed from this earth on the day he was born, 2 February, in London, England," Ngurare wrote.

"The work of this national hero is a public secret. His leftist revolutionary posture is common knowledge. His humbleness and pro-masses character is known by all. His result-orientated leadership is a familiarity of all. His leadership qualities and style is sacrosanct and unprecedented," reads Ngurare's statement.

He said it was because of Iyambo's sacrosanct and unprecedented leadership qualities that the SPYL had nominated the late minister to contest the position of Swapo Party Deputy Secretary General during the 5th Congress of the Swapo Party.

"While we feel treated unfairly by life for denying us an opportunity to be led and learn from the national hero Dr Abraham Iyambo is, we surrender to the undeniable verity that one is born and one is to die one day," the statement reads.

"We shall remember him as a humble human being, as a great leader distinguished by an exceptional courage, simplicity, hard work and patriotism. We do highly resolve that his sacrifices to a free and independent Namibia were not in vain, that this developmental State must eternally have a new birth of economic freedom and independence wherein its entire people live together in peace and harmony and with equal opportunities. We shall remember Dr Iyambo as a nationalist. As such, it is no surprise that the tears being shed for him are from all 13 regions and 107 constituencies."

"In this light the SPYL leadership, while at Efinde, has resolved to name the SPYL Education Fund the Dr Abraham Iyambo Scholarship Fund. Additionally, the NEC resolved to establish the Dr Abraham Iyambo Memorial Lecture to be held each February, to celebrate the life of Dr Abraham Iyambo, henceforth until the end of time.

"At 52, Dr Iyambo achieved a lot, that those older than him could not or could never achieve in their lifetime. He showed us the path to success. If we are to read the life of Comrade Dr Iyambo we will gain a lot. We will gain and learn a spirit of nationalism - we will gain and learn a spirit of hard work - we will gain and learn a spirit of simplicity - we will gain and learn a spirit of patriotism - we will gain and learn a spirit of humility - we will gain and learn a spirit of a non-racial and a spirit of a non-tribal Namibia," the statement continues.

"If this is our last word to our national hero, with humility and respect, we extend our sincere and deepest condolences to the bereaved extended family in the irreplaceable loss of your beloved son, brother, father, uncle and above all a renowned revolutionary and hero of the political and economic liberation struggle. He has closed his eyes forever; his death is indeed a tragedy not only to the bereaved family but also to the entire Namibian nation."

The SPYL leader quoted Timothy 4: verses 7-8 saying: "He (Iyambo) has fought a good fight, he has finished the race, he kept the faith. Now there is in store for him the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to him on that day - and not only him, but all who have longed for his appearing."

"May the soul of the late Comrade Dr Abraham Iyambo rest in eternal peace," he concludes.

Meanwhile, a government delegation yesterday left Windhoek for London, United Kingdom (UK) with the presidential jet to repatriate Iyambo's body. The delegation that left for the UK is led by the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture Jerry Ekandjo and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Veikko Nghiwete, as well as close relatives.

They are expected later tonight at Eros Airport. On Friday morning Dr Iyambo's body will be transported to his residence in Hochland Park whereafter he will be moved to Parliament Gardens for the memorial service that will start at 14h00. His casket will lay in state the entire Friday night and members of the public will be accorded the opportunity to view his body.

On Saturday he will be accorded a State funeral at the Pionierspark cemetery where his sister Cecilia Ndhishishi who predeceased him was also interred last year.

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