National Assembly will remember Gurirab as a dedicated democrat: Katjavivi

16 Jul 2018 23:00pm
WINDHOEK, 16 JUL (NAMPA) – The National Assembly will remember the late Theo-Ben Gurirab as a thinker, dedicated democrat, a freedom fighter and diplomat-par-excellence.
In a media release issued Monday by the Speaker of the National Assembly on its behalf, Peter Katjavivi said the House will also remember him as a fair and impartial presiding officer and a national hero who led efforts to position the Namibian case on the international map during the difficult years of the liberation struggle.
“During his time in the House, the late Gurirab was very resourceful on topics on international relations and passionate about the debates on education and training, women and children’s rights, human rights, peace, democracy and national reconciliation,” Katjavivi said.
He noted that in 2007, Gurirab initiated the Children’s Parliament in order to ensure that the voices of young people are heard.
Katjivivi added that the platform empowers and coaches a democratic culture within the youth and young people so that they can partake in the national discourse at all levels.
“As we celebrate his life, may we find solace in the fact that he has completed his dignified life journey with dedication to serve Namibia and the rest of the global village.”
The former Prime Minister and Speaker of the National Assembly died in the Mediclinic private hospital in Windhoek around 12h00 on Saturday after a short illness.
Gurirab served as Swapo’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1986 to 1990 and played a major role in the country’s liberation struggle.
He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from Namibia’s independence in 1990 until 2002, when he started serving as Prime Minister.
Gurirab served in this position until 2005 and was then Speaker of the National Assembly until 2015.
He also served as Swapo’s Chief Representative to the United Nations for 14 years.
The seasoned diplomat held the title of Dean of African Foreign Ministers and in over 35 years in the field of international diplomacy, he worked with three generations of world leaders and five secretary generals of the United Nations.
Among his major achievements as foreign minister, Gurirab led three years of negotiations that led to Walvis Bay’s reintegration into Namibia in 1994.
He is survived by his wife, Joan Guriras, two sons and grandchildren.