Dr. Abraham Iyambo is dead.
News of his passing came as stark, unbelievable tragedy to a nation he stood for through a dozen of the most critical, action-packed years in all its history.
It is difficult to realise, even yet, that the great son of the soil who had guided our ship of state through the perilous waters at fisheries and the challenges in education has succumbed on the very day he was born, some 52 years ago.
His death comes as a blow, not to the people of this nation alone, but to all mankind. All over Namibia, across races and tribes, those who believed in the democratic freedoms, in the right of men to live free and unfettered lives, are grieving today. They looked, and with complete justification, to Iyambo as a leader and a symbol.
History will accord him a place alongside the very few truly great men who have combined ability and leadership along with a very definite understanding of the problems of the little men and women of the world.
We will miss that face.
Dr. Iyambo died, as he would have had it, in harness, on duty. A personal friend is gone, at the full tide of his usefulness and renown, in the full dawn of the victory to free education.
Let us be thankful, even in the shock and stabbing pain of grief, that his last days were spent fighting for the cause of this country.
Ours are the wills and hearts that must carry on the mighty labours from which he rests and bring to pass his ‘vision splendid’. Surely, in this solemn hour all that is little, selfish, partisan or ignoble in our national life will melt away in a surge of the strongest and highest unity we have ever achieved.
We grope for words and intelligent thoughts with which to express the grief which overwhelms us, the terrible sense of loss which grips our very being, the aching void which will not be filled.
Rest in Peace Honourable Minister. You fought a good fight.