11 February 2013

Namibia: Opposition Hail Departed Iyambo

The late Dr Abraham Iyambo's untimely death was received with shock even in opposition party circles.

Representatives of opposition political parties on Friday joined thousands of mourners from all walks of life to pay tribute to the late Iyambo at Parliament Gardens. Nudo President Chief Kuaima Riruako said Iyambo's departure should be viewed by the youth as an opportunity to show their leadership capabilities. "Some of you were criticising him saying he was boasting (during his surprise visits to schools in overalls to ensure service delivery), now he is gone. The youth must learn a lot from him. They must come out and follow his legacy," Riruako told mourners.

DTA President Katuutire Kaura said: "Some people are born for their families, some for the nation and others for the entire humanity." He said the late Iyambo was an asset to humanity not only to his country. "We have lost a genius," he indicated.

The vice-president of the official opposition party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Steve Bezuidenhoudt, urged all national leaders to dedicate their time to and realise the dream of service delivery as articulated by the Iyambo during his lifetime in serving the nation.

Former president of the Republican Party (RP), Henk Mudge, who resigned from the National Assembly in 2011 also attended Iyambo's funeral. He said events such as death force one to stand still and reflect on the past and prepare for the future because time is "too short".

President of the All People's Party (APP) Ignatius Shixwameni reminisced about how close he was to Iyambo since the days they were both studying in Cuba during the liberation struggle.

"Abby was a friend and a brother. We last joked around the floor of parliament in Spanish. We are all united in this grief. It is not always you find a nation grieving together," he said.

Shixwameni said Iyambo was an intellectual and he dedicated his life to hard work. "He was not a person that would buy favours. He would not condemn you because you are from another political party. He would rather say, 'My brother we can differ, but let's develop our country.' He was above petty politics.

"He played the ball not the man," he said.

Further, Shixwameni called on all leaders to create a culture of hard work so that his legacy can live on.

Vice-chairperson of the National Council who is the councillor of the Khomasdal North Constituency, Margaret Mensah-Williams, spoke on behalf of both houses of parliament.

Eulogising Iyambo, Mensah-Williams said the name Abraham stood for articulate, brave, resourceful, appreciative, humble, available and motivator, while his surname stood for intelligent, youthful, advisor, mentor, bold and optimistic.

Iyambo was laid to rest in the Gammams cemetery in Pionierspark on Saturday.

The late Iyambo is survived by his two daughters Amina and Penofina, two brothers Puma and Joseph, and his sister Luise Iyambo. His mother, Meekulu Helena Gabriel could not attend the burial due to ill health and old age.

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