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First Lady wades into Namibia ‘founding father’ debate

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Namibian First Lady Monica Genigos on Wednesday waded into a fierce tug-of-war on social media over the legitimacy of first President Sam Nujoma as the undisputed father of the nation.Geingos told the fourth Rural Women’s Parliament in Windhoek  that she was profoundly disappointed by social media users capitalizing on anti-apartheid hero
Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo’s mourning period to engage in “a deceptive dialogue and try to feed the nation with false information regarding the founding father of Namibia”.

The First Lady described Ya Toivo as a true revolutionary hero who played a notable role during the liberation struggle for independence as an anti-apartheid activist as well as after independence as (cabinet) minister and served on various political platforms.

“We love him and cherish his life, however the fact remains that the founding father of the Namibian nation is Dr. Sam Nujoma. Let’s not change the fact”.

Nujoma’s detractors questioned why he was bestowed the title, but not the late Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, who they claimed deserves it better.

The debate flared up following the death on June 9 of Ya Toivo, who was buried last Saturday at Heroes Acre in the capital Windhoek.

Ya Toivo is credited with forming the Owambo People’s Organisation, the precursor of the South West Africa People Organization (Swapo) that waged a successful war of independence against the then apartheid administration between 1960 and 1990.

Ya Toivo spent 16 years at Robben Island prison for his anti-apartheid activism.

Nujoma went on to lead Swapo throughout the 30-year struggle for liberation, and later served as president of an independent Namibia from 1990 to 2005.

Published on 28.04.2020

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