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Geingob unites Zambezi foes

2024-02-20  Albertina Nakale

Geingob unites Zambezi foes

KATIMA MULILO - The political leaders across the Zambezi region on Friday set aside their differences and united in solidarity to mourn late president Hage Geingob.

Geingob passed away at the Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek on 4 February 2024 after he was earlier diagnosed with cancer.

Despite the scorching heat, the community turned up in big numbers to pay their tributes to the Geingob family and Namibia at large.

Speakers hailed the late politician for his inclusivity and non-tribal leadership style. 

On behalf of the residents of Zambezi, governor Lawrence Sampofu expressed his deepest condolences to the government and the entire nation. He then gave different political parties a thumbs-up for setting their political differences aside to mourn the late Geingob as a united nation.

“I am impressed with the political
parties. Nothing was opposing [in the tributes]. We are mourning together,” Sampofu reacted. 

He stated that Namibia has lost a gallant revolutionary, brave hero, a leader who was committed, dedicated and always consulted, communicated and coordinated with all structures of leadership. 

“He called for hard work, accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency. We will always remember our late president, and carry on his legacy. We will carry on his torch of inclusivity. This death robbed us of our dear comrade, friend and man of the people. Your Excellency, your legacy will live on forever,” the governor noted.

Furthermore, Sampofu praised president Geingob as a champion in fighting corruption and leading by example, as he declared his family’s combined wealth. 

The governor also remembered Geingob for his stance in fighting tribalism, and as a unifier called for unity in diversity and inclusivity, which he termed everyone must not feel left out of the Namibian House.

Zambezi’s Swapo information and mobilisation officer Dorothy Kabula described Geingob as an immense figure in Namibia’s liberation struggle and a man of his word, saying his contribution to the Namibian House has been immeasurable. 

She said as a region, Swapo shall forever remember him as a unique leader.

“He enforced the zebra style in Swapo structures to make sure that women are not left out. That cements his words, and I quote “No one should be left out in the Namibian house”. 

Swapo praised Geingob for uplifting poor, vulnerable Namibians, previously disadvantaged groups, people living with disabilities, and senior citizens by increasing their social grants annually, despite the economic challenges experienced during the past years. 

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) regional coordinator in Zambezi, Geoffrey Mwilima, said “our hearts are truly broken and saddened, but Dr Hage has earned
his crown. It would be dishonest for me not to say the late Hage was a man of political acumen, a stalwart for freedom, a generational thinker, and notably the architect of our Constitution. 

And above all, regardless of our political differences, affiliations, ideologies and principles, we had shared a common vision of a better Namibia”.

Meanwhile, Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) chairperson in Zambezi, Elvis Lizazi, said Namibia is mourning a great icon of the liberation struggle, the third President of Namibia, and a champion of democracy and transparency. 

“We are shattered by his passing, as we were all hoping he would recover to continue serving the nation he so dearly loved. Hage Geingob was an exceptional revolutionary, international civil servant, and above all, a patriotic statesman who believed in building the Namibian House,” he observed in his tribute. The National Democratic Party (NDP) also paid tribute to Geingob’s family and Namibia at large.

Brave Musialike of the NDP described Geingob as a hero, a stalwart leader, and a dedicated cadre before and after Namibia’s independence. 

He praised the deceased for press freedom in Namibia, and for upholding high moral standards.

Former PLAN Combatants Association in Zambezi also paid tribute to Geingob’s family and the entire nation.

The association’s chairperson Georgina Mwiya-Simataa said Geingob will be remembered as the head of the United Nations Institute of Namibia (UNIN) in Zambia, which trained many Namibians during the liberation struggle as civil servants in preparation for the Swapo-led government. 

“We are fully-indebted to his leadership style for accommodating the clarion cry of military veterans in the structure of Swapo to address our plight. He will be remembered as a team player in the affairs of Swapo and the government of the Republic of Namibia since independence in 1990 in preserving peace, political stability as well as instilling in particularly young, irrational youth parliamentarians to respect and honour elders,” she added.

Meanwhile, Zambezi chairperson for the disability association Ben Mukasa said the Eastern Association of the visually impaired is saddened by the passing of president Geingob. 

The association remembers him as a majestic warrior, who sacrificed his life for the wellbeing of his people. 

“He went out of the country while he was only 22 years old to liberate his country from colonialisation. He was a generous leader. He increased pension grants for the elderly people, disability grants and funds for the vulnerable,” he noted.

2024-02-20  Albertina Nakale

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