POSTED BY RDP Namibia | Jun, 22, 2017 |

Madam Ya Toivo
Tate Nestor and Meme Esther Ya Toivo
Children of the late Comrade Ya Toivo
The entire bereaved Family and
All protocol observed

I feel greatly honoured to be present here today, and to pay my last respect to a man I have come to know in some pretty difficult circumstances. I have to record that I have felt equally honoured to have been asked by the Ya Toivo Family on Tuesday, the 13th of June 2017 to say a few words to console, and to reflect on the day of his release on the 1st of March 1984, and to support the Ya Toivo Family during this most difficult of times.

Madam Ya Toivo
Children,
The bereaved Family and
Fellow Mourners

On behalf of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), its broad membership, and indeed on my own behalf, we were all, without exception, shocked to learn about the sudden death of Comrade Ya Toivo, the icon of the Namibian Liberation Struggle, on Friday the 9th June 2017 here in Windhoek.

My personal and political encounters with the late Ya Toivo traverse immeasurably informative and enriching cycles. The first and the most difficult assignment I was given, by his late mother, was to convince the late Ya Toivo not to accept the release, which view was shared by late Ya Toivo himself.

However, from my own personal experiences, I was concerned of possible ill treatment by the Prison Authorities, his age and his health. I further knew, from my personal experiences too, that when political prisoners are released, the authorities release them in batches. It is on this basis that I convinced the late Comrade Ya Toivo, to accept the release, in the knowledge that his Comrades, still in detention will be released in phases. To which he agreed, and on this day, the 1st of March 1984, he walked through the gates of Windhoek Central Prison, in Windhoek, as a free man.

Madam Ya Toivo
Children
The bereaved Family and
Fellow Mourners

The second cycle of my encounter with late Comrade Ya Toivo was when I was his Deputy in the Ministry of Prisons and Correctional Services from 2000 to 2004.

In all these encounters, indelible impressions, foot and finger prints he left was that he was a symbol of peace, honesty, love and commitment. The late Ya Toivo’s dedication to Namibia and its people was unquestionable, selfless and without limits, and he expected nothing in return. Indeed, the late Ya Toivo was a man with broad shoulders on which the not so strong could stand, that is figuratively speaking. A genuine tribute to mankind as opposed to self interest in the world of greed.

Over and beyond these encounters, I have further known him as someone who was highly principled and at peace with himself. He was the epitome of exceptionally flexibility, free mind, transparent and had shown incredible degree of accommodation of different views and opinions on issues.

In later years and subsequent to the formation of the RDP, the Party I lead, our engagements with the late Ya Toivo were not influenced by political differences. He did not take orders from those who thought they had the monopoly to control other peoples’ lives, and could dictate to them, who they should speak to, who to shun, as well as whose house they must visit, and whose memorial service and funeral they must attend. The late Ya Toivo was a categoric, steadfast, humble and principled man indeed. These encounters also taught me that what you see from him, is what you get.

Madam Ya Toivo
Children
The bereaved Family and Fellow Mourners

Let us all draw comfort from the fact that you allowed us to share the late Ya Toivo with you. Similarly, let us be encouraged and inspired that the late Ya Toivo lived to see the fruits of the bitter struggle he fought for the liberation of our country. However, it is doubtful whether the late Ya Toivo enjoyed the fruits of his dedication and commitment to the fullest.

On a reflective note, it is saddening and indeed disappointing that the very same Party the late Ya Toivo formed, and nurtured, and figuratively speaking, he owned, failed to accord him the befitting recognition and status, by which the present and future Namibians will remember him.

My take on this, I know , is shared by some senior leaders of his Party, the only difference is that they never had the courage to raise it at relevant and appropriate platforms.

The late Ya Toivo to Namibia is what Nelson Madiba Mandela was to South Africa, what Commadante Fidel was to Cuba, what Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was to Tanzania, what Jomo Kenyatta was to Kenya, and what Dr Augustino Neto was to Angola.

Madam Ya Toivo
Children
The bereaved Family and Fellow Mourners

Finally, at moments like these words are inadequate to describe the loss, pain and sorrow we share with you. Your lost is our loss.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Jeremia Nambinga
PRESIDENT

TAGS :