Geingob says pool of revolutionaries diminishing

21 Dec 2018 20:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 DEC (NAMPA) – “It seems we are at a stage in our history where we are frequently called upon to say goodbye to our brothers and sisters of the struggle,” in a sombre tone, President Hage Geingob said on Friday.
He was speaking at Parliament Gardens where a memorial service was held in honour of the late former deputy minister, liberation struggle icon and unionist, Petrus ‘Ekanda’ Iilonga.
His remarks come a few days after he paid tribute to another liberation struggle icon, retired colonel Matias ‘Mbulunganga’ Ndakolo.
“We accept God’s will in these matters, and the best we can do is express our respect and gratitude for the gallantry of the men and women whose selfless efforts contributed to the realisation of Namibia’s independence,” Geingob stated extensively.
To better describe Iilonga, known among his immediate peers as ‘The Broken Head’, Geingob said the former deputy minister was the embodiment of selflessness.
“Now that he has departed the world of the living, no burdens can hold him down, because throughout his life, he made sacrifices, not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of all,” the Head of State said.
He said Iilonga lived his life to serve others, without demanding any recognition.
Geingob then promised the mourners that his administration would continue with Iilonga’s struggle, one that puts all Namibians, especially the workers’ interests, at the fore.
“I reaffirm the commitment I made during my State of the Nation Address in April, which is to strive towards inclusive broad-based empowerment focusing on the plight of farm workers, domestic workers, women, the youth and all disenfranchised Namibians,” he said.
Geingob is of the view that this can be attained though employee share schemes, which he said are one of the most effective forms of broad-based empowerment.
“I encourage the private sector to adopt such an approach,” he said.
Iilonga died in the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek on 11 December after a long illness. He was 71.
Iilonga served as parliamentarian and deputy minister of Environment and Tourism; Labour and Social Services; Agriculture, Water and Forestry and Defence between 2000 and 2015.
He will be buried at Heroes’ Acre on Saturday.