8 February 2013

Namibia: National Mourning for Dr Iyambo

Windhoek — The presidential aircraft carrying the remains of the late Minister of Education Dr Abraham Iyambo touched down at Eros Airport at 20:00 last night, on a direct flight from Heathrow Airport, London in the United Kingdom.

The late Dr Iyambo passed away last Saturday, February 02, his birthday, while on official duty in the UK.

It was a sombre mood as President Hifikepunye Pohamba, First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba, Founding Father of the Namibian Nation Dr Sam Nujoma, Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob, Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Theo Ben-Gurirab, Chief Justice Peter Shivute, government ministers and family observed in silence the unloading of the casket by the Namibia Defence Force.

Draped in the Namibian flag it was then carried over a red carpet before being loaded into a hearse.

The national flag flew at half-mast. President Pohamba has declared three days of national mourning for Dr Iyambo, which started yesterday and will end on Saturday when his state funeral will take place in Windhoek.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana yesterday said Dr Iyambo would be accorded a 17-gun salute on Saturday at Gammams cemetery in Windhoek and not Pionierspark cemetery as earlier announced.

This afternoon the body of Dr Iyambo will be moved to Parliament Gardens for a memorial service that will start at 14h00.

The casket will lay in state today until Saturday and 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 education minister whose death caused an outpouring of grief.

Ua-Ndjarakana appealed to households in the vicinity of Gammams Cemetery to keep their domesticated animals under good care, so that they are not panicked by the sounds of the 17-gun salute.

He further called on those wanting to pay their last respects to the late Dr Iyambo at Parliament Gardens to "organise themselves and not to do it in an irresponsible manner". Public transport will be provided to and from the funeral.

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