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Home / Curtains may have closed on Geingob but they have also opened

Curtains may have closed on Geingob but they have also opened

2024-02-23  Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

Curtains may have closed on Geingob but they have also opened

Today marks exactly 16 days since the gauntlet came down, the curtain closed, and the sunset on the illustrious earthly existence of President Hage Geingob. 

But instead of the curtain closing, it opened and the sun rose in a marathon homage by all and sundry, which this crucial week is culminating in the all-important last lap this Sunday towards committing his mortal remains to mother earth but his immortal spirit to the ancestors so that he shall continue to spirit the country to even greater heights than he has left it. 

The son of the soil, as they would reciprocally refer to one another with fellows like Moses Katjiuongua, among others, decided that he had run his race and finished it upon returning from the United States of America (USA) for further medical attention. Whereupon he was admitted to a local hospital and reported stable by first the Presidential Spokesperson, Alfredo Hengari, and eventually the Acting President Nangolo Mbumba. 

Only to be followed by the sad and shocking announcement by the Acting President early Sunday morning on the 04 February. 

“Hage Gottfried Geingob 1941-2024 rest in peace:  A nation mourns the death of an Icon”.

The news was confirmed on Monday morning by the mainstream print media. Since tributes have been pouring in daily, and continue to from East, North, South and West and beyond Namibian borders. Testimony to the popularity of Hage all seasons and all peoples’ persona as testified by his election during his election for his first term in 2014 when he garnered 87%. 

But this was waning telling from the 2019 elections when he only gained 56% of the Presidential votes. But no doubt in his departure he remains as popular as ever. 

The tributes which have been pouring in seem to know no bounds, class, caste, faith, tribe and colour nor international territorial boundaries flowing in from all continents, and from would-be or presumed and assumed enemies, to fulfill his philosophy that one does not make peace with your friends but your enemies. 

Amidst the dark cloud that has descended on the country, there was no room for a leadership vacuum, and true to the systems, processes and institutions of which Geingob has come to imprint a hallmark of his administration, Vice President and then Acting President Nangolo Mbumba was sworn in the very Sunday of the late President’s departure as a substantial Fourth President of the Republic of Namibia. Committing and pledging to only complete the remainder of late Geingob’s tenure of slightly more than a year, that is until 21 March 2024, when the Fifth President shall be installed following this November’s Presidential and National Assembly elections. 

President Mbumba declared an almost month-long period of mourning until the burial, this Sunday, when the national flag has been and shall be flying half-mast. Appointing Swapo Party Vice President, Deputy Prime minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as his deputy, and John Mutorwa, Minister of Works and Transport, as Deputy Prime Minister. 

Since his untimely departure on the fourth of this month, much has been written and said and shall continue to be this week of his internment, and days, months, and years after. 

Perhaps following up on the appeal of Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa, many books may be written by all and sundry, especially by academics. 


* Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro is a veteran journalist and retired editor.

2024-02-23  Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

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