Namibians must unite in honour of Toivo Ya Toivo: Geingob

23 Jun 2017 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JUN (NAMPA) - President Hage Geingob called on Namibians to remain united and continue to solidify the foundations of the “Namibian house” to befit the memory of the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.
The Head of State was speaking at Ya Toivo’s memorial service in the capital on Friday.
Geingob said the selfless service of Ya Toivo to the Namibian people serves as a constant reminder of the “renewal of mind and spirit” required to drive the country to prosperity.
He described Ya Toivo as a towering figure in the country’s journey for freedom and a better life for the majority.
“Only a man of exceptional character can spearhead the genesis of a mass movement with a mandate to unite Namibians to fight a common enemy,” he said.
Geingob further called on Namibians to honour Ya Toivo through purposeful actions in order to improve the challenges the nation faces.
The nation, he said, should emulate Ya Toivo’s exemplary character and fight tooth and nail to banish the counter revolutionary practices of tribalism, racism and sexism from the Namibian society.
The country has lost more than a hero of the liberation struggle, more than a revolutionary, he said.
“We have lost a man who epitomises the core ideals that make us the nation we are today and the ideals and values captured today in our Constitution,” the Namibian leader noted.
Ya Toivo was incarcerated in the same section of the Robben Island Prison as late South African President Nelson Mandela. He was one of more than 60 Namibians in that prison; only 20 of them are still alive.
Ya Toivo was an anti-apartheid activist, politician and political prisoner who was active in the pre-independence movement and one of the co-founders of the South West African People's Organisation (Swapo) in 1960, and its predecessor the Ovamboland People's Organisation in 1959.
Ya Toivo was released from prison in 1984 and joined Swapo in Lusaka, Zambia, before returning to Namibia in 1989.
He served as a Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister after independence in 1990, and retired from active politics in 2006.
Ya Toivo died on 09 June 2017 and will be laid to rest on Saturday at the Heroes’ Acre.