Leaders agree to name airport after Ya Toivo

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Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-President Hage Geingob has agreed with the proposition to name Ondangwa airport after the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, tasking relevant authorities to facilitate the process.

This followed a call made earlier by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba who said he felt there is a need for Ondangwa airport to be renamed after the struggle icon.

“I saw one article in the newspapers that suggested Ondangwa airport should be renamed after Ya Toivo and I think it is a good idea,” said Pohamba at Ya Toivo’s memorial service on Friday.

Over the weekend land activist Job Amupanda produced letters he had written to the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) and Swapo and government leaders in July 2014 suggesting the airport be named after Ya Toivo.

Pohamba was president of both Swapo Party and the country at the time, with Amupanda claiming the idea was shot down.

Pohamba said the late Ya Toivo was one of the bravest sons of Namibia who had done much for the people of the country.

“He is a true hero, fearless, an icon of the our national liberation struggle, a patriotic Namibian citizen, a freedom fighter, an internationalist, a Robben Island political prisoner,” Pohamba said.

He added that Ya Toivo was a humanitarian, a visionary leader and a man of deep conviction whose life had been full of trials and tribulations because of his indelible determination to fight for the freedom, justice and independence of his people.

“Ya Toivo, who is lying before us here today, will be forever remembered with profound fondness for his steely determination and commitment to the struggle for freedom and independence,” he added.

Furthermore, the former head of state said Namibians should celebrate the fruits of his long and purposeful journey he travelled to freedom and independence.

“Ya Toivo was determined to serve this period until Namibia had attained its independence.”
Pohamba said that due to the political pressure put on the South African apartheid and colonial regime by Swapo, in solidarity with international progressive communities, Ya Toivo together with some other comrades were released after sixteen years in prison.

“Let us remember the hardships and sweat that late Ya Toivo went through on Robben Island during the sixteen years as part of the history of Namibia,” he said.

Pohamba said that after Ya Toivo’s release in 1984 from Robben Island prison he did not give up or waive the fight for Namibia’s freedom and independence.

“He immediately joined the rest of his comrades and Swapo leadership in exile.”
“His contribution during that time as one of the Swapo leaders will go down in the history of Swapo and that of the national liberation struggle of Namibia,” he added.

Pohamba said Ya Toivo accomplished his mission to free Namibia from the colonialism and apartheid of South Africa when he and other comrades returned home in 1989 and from 1990.

He said Ya Toivo was one of the Swapo leaders who brought into existence the world-praised supreme law (constitution) of Namibia.

“Let us celebrate late Andimba’s unquestionable contribution to the nation building of this country after independence,” he said.

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