Lahja Nashuuta Windhoek-The ruling party Swapo yesterday narrated how late former minister Rosalia Nghidinwa – who passed away yesterday, reportedly due to cancer – actively participated in the struggle to free Namibia from the yoke of colonialism. Nghidinwa, who served as minister for home affairs and gender equality between 2005 and 2012, was pronounced dead in the early hours of yesterday morning at the Roman Catholic Private Hospital in Windhoek. She was 65. Born on October 26, 1952 in Nkurenkuru in what is today known as Kavango West Region, the former nurse went on to become the deputy minister of labour in 2000, during the presidency of then president Sam Nujoma. “She assisted PLAN fighters who fought the war inside the country by providing them with shelter, food and medication as she was a nurse by profession. We have lost a cadre, a very dedicated member of the society, for the country and both Kavango regions in general,” Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa told New Era yesterday. Shaningwa described Nghidinwa as a revolutionary leader and distinguished freedom fighter whose exemplary deeds, and indelible footprints in her contribution to the liberation struggle and the country’s socio-economic development, would forever be remembered. Shaningwa described Nghidinwa as a “cool cat”, a good listener and selfless advisor. ‘As women we have lost a comrade especially on the issues of women development and child welfare. She was really very vocal and articulate on these issues,” Shaningwa said. Secretary of the Swapo Party Women Council (SPWC) Eunice Ipinge corroborated Shaningwa’s observations. Ipinge maintained that the SPWC has been robbed of a pillar of strength and a fearless freedom fighter who used her skills as a nurse to attend to wounded soldiers while hiding them from apartheid South African forces. “We have lost a strong pillar. The one that we ran to for advice. A counsellor and problem solver,” she said. Apart from serving as a member of parliament and cabinet, she once served in the ruling party’s central committee too. She also served as SPWC’s assistant secretary for finance. She was deputy minister of labour from 2000 to 2005 and minister of home affairs and immigration from 2005 to 2012, before taking up the ministerial post at the ministry of gender equality in December 2012. Her death comes at a time when the SPWC and the party in general are still mourning the death of Rosa Kavara, a National Council member who hailed from Rundu West Constituency. Kavara, who succumbed to a stroke, was buried on Saturday at Mupini village, in her native Kavango region. Another SPWC central committee member, Agness Pelekelo, died in early January after she was allegedly shot by her nephew during a quarrel over inheritance. In late 2017, another high-profile woman in Swapo, Kunene governor Angelika Muharukua, died from a suspected heart attack. Spokesperson of the of the Nghidinwa family, Sikongo Haihambo, yesterday told New Era that the late former minister first complained of her ailments in mid-December 2017 and was subsequently hospitalised. “I was shocked by the media reports that the honourable former minister passed away after a long illness. To me a long illness is when somebody has been sick for years, but in her case it was just a month and a few weeks,” he said. “She was hospitalised at Ongwediva MediPark and was later transferred to the Roman Catholic hospital in Windhoek where she passed on,” Haihambo said. The family is meeting today, at the late’s house in Cimbebasia, where they will be awaiting a decision from the elders who are congregating at Nkurenkuru.
2018-01-16 08:53:40 8 months ago