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Opinion - A synopsis of President Hage G Geingob

2022-10-03  Staff Reporter

Opinion - A synopsis of President Hage G Geingob

Martin Thomas

Some Namibians, both Swapo members and those from certain opposition parties, as well as some daily newspapers have a vendetta against President Hage G Geingob. 

Maybe they do not know well who this great leader is, or they are out there to deliberately vilify our leader.

I came to know Geingob in 1977 through the exiled Swapo radio named ‘The Voice of Namibia’. Little did I know that he was a scholar. So much was said about him on the radio in all the vernaculars that our elders would interject and advise us who this man really was. It is disgraceful that some sectors of society try to belittle this skillful politician. Maybe their memories are failing them, to such an extend that they forgot who this statesman is. 

Since the days of Lusaka, where he was the director of the United Nations Institute for Namibia, Geingob, (I am told by those who were with him in exile), displayed true skills of a skilled administrator, a tested negotiator, straight talker, and a caring leader who went to such an extend of sharing his well-earned salary with so many of the Swapo leadership in Lusaka. 

He would entertain colleagues after hard work, in some instances pay for their air tickets when they had to go on missions or studies abroad. His house in Lusaka was not only for him, but it was shared with the leadership of the party. He was a man of the people, and still displayed exceptional leadership skills while in exile as a student at Leeds University in the UK and at universities in the United States, as well as during his tenure as permanent representative to the Americas and the United Nations. What more must I tell the Namibian nation?

When Resolution 435 was implemented by the United Nations and the ceasefire signed between PLAN and the apartheid army of South Africa, the exiles were due to return to Namibia. But first the ground had to be tested if indeed it was safe for the founding father to return home. Everybody was sceptical about their safety once they touched down on Namibian soil. I, for one, assume that many of the Swapo leadership was afraid to take the lead. Swapo president Sam Nujoma gave the flag to none other than Geingob to lead a delegation of some brave leaders who returned with him as first returnees. Mind you, he could have been killed, but his bravery motivated him to carry out the task given to him.

Why was he appointed as the Swapo director of elections, the chairperson of the Constituent Assembly, the first Prime Minister of independent Namibia and now the third president of Namibia? 

This information has been shared previously by scholars, but the ignorance of some sectors of society compels me to share this valuable information once more.

Geingob’s skills as an excellent negotiator, his administrative skills, and his diplomacy make him a real political icon. What happened when he took over the reins from Hifikepunye Pohamba? We experienced a severe drought, then the world economic downturn, and then the coronavirus. Who else could have dealt better with all these calamities, except Geingob? Tell me. Now, I understand why spiritual leaders used to refer to him as having been chosen by God to save Namibia when she is faced by such devastating threats. He tried (by all means) to navigate the ship amidst all these adversities. He is trying to convince the world to invest in Namibia. He did much already at the 2020 Dubai Expo, just to mention one platform.

Geingob does not condone corruption. During the tenure of the previous two heads of state, we used to hear of corruption, but sporadically. But during his tenure, the corruption which was committed since 2012 has been unearthed and the culprits brought to book, awaiting trial. Some technocrats in government ministries and agencies used to loot government resources. Under Geingob’s reign, many of the loopholes were closed, and will be closed. He has a vision for Namibia. Let us allow him to engineer this noble vision and draw up a final trajectory for the successful beneficiation of resources by all Namibians, not only a few. He has only a few months to go before he hands over the reins to our next president. Think of the meetings held at the World Economic Forum, where sustainable development’s impact was interrogated. My immediate attention goes to the green hydrogen and the oil and gas projects, just to mention a few.

Conspiracy theorists tried to bring down this man of integrity by accusing him of corruption. They tried, but failed badly. They are accusing him of all that is going wrong, both in Namibia and in Swapo. Those selfish, failed politicians who could not climb their political ladder up to the highest peak are frustrated, and display signs of vengeance towards Geingob. The fact remains that he is regarded as one of the best presidents in Africa. To be exact, third-best president in Africa after Prithvirajsing Roopen of Mauritius and Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, based on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. Under his able leadership, Namibia was placed 6th in the Ibrahim Index for African Governance, became the 46th most secure nation in the world, attained a score of 0.6646, and 12th highest in Africa for Human Development. Only some sick Namibians do not see this.

And then you have some media houses that publish news articles without verifying the authenticity of the facts in their articles. Look at the article of The Namibian dated 6 September 2022 entitled ‘Geingob’s camp goes for Sara!’. Shinoveni Immanuel, Tileni Monghudhi and Sonja Smith have the audacity under that article to lie to the Namibian reader that President Geingob and his confidants are supporting comrade Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on the one hand, and then again comrade Frans Kapofi on the other. 

Therefore, I and many other readers question the objectivity and media etiquette of The Namibian newspaper. How do you publish information that is not factually verified? This is exactly how certain newspapers lose their credibility, not only locally, but also internationally. I hope the media ombudsman has eyes to see how the media principles are being compromised. The international world continues to shower accolades on our president for steering Namibia to its logical, prosperous destination. The success stories speak for themselves.

That is what President Hage G Geingob is in a true sense. You can assassinate his persona, but the truth will always surface. Well done comrade president. Continue to write your book. You have only a few months to complete the final chapter of your book. All the best! Aluta Continua!

2022-10-03  Staff Reporter

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