The late Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo asked to be relieved of his duties as chairperson of the Swapo-Party Think-Tank weeks before his death.
Swapo-Party Secretary-General Nangolo Mbumba revealed this on Friday during a memorial service held in honour of Iyambo at Parliament Gardens in Windhoek.
The 52-year-old Iyambo died in London in the United Kingdom (UK) last Saturday while on official duty and was laid to rest on Saturday at the Gammams Cemetery in Pioneers Park.
Mbumba said Iyambo sent him a letter on 25 January informing him that he wanted to be relieved of his duties as chairperson of the party’s think-tank, but that he wanted to stay on as an ordinary member. The late minister, however, did not provide any reasons for his decision. “Maybe it was a sign of Iyambo trying to bid farewell to us, as his resignation left us with more questions than answers,” Mbumba said. Iyambo chaired the first Swapo-Party first ‘Think-Tank’ consisting of 38 members in 2008. The think-tank was amongst other things created to evaluate developments at regional, continental and multi-lateral institutions to advise the Swapo leadership on Government’s policy stance. At Iyambo’s memorial service, former President Sam Nujoma described the late minister as a prolific and eloquent public speaker and ‘a scholar of note who fostered critical thinking’. For this reason, he said, he was appointed chairperson of the Swapo-Party Think-Tank, ‘a task he discharged with zeal as exemplified by the crafted policy documents that were reviewed at the Party’s first-ever National Policy conference that took place in September 2012.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba said Iyambo will be hard to replace in cabinet.
“It will be difficult to fill in his shoes. He had a lot of outstanding quality leadership,” he said to the thousands that gathered from across Namibia to pay their last respects to Iyambo.
“Go well dear friend, go well dear brother, go well dear comrade,” concluded Pohamba. The late Iyambo leaves behind his mother Helena, siblings and two daughters, Amina and Penofina.