President Hage Geingob yesterday eulogised former presidential advisor Jeff Mbako as a kind and patient person. Mbako died in a Windhoek hospital on Wednesday after a short illness. He was 73. “I have learned with utmost sadness that comrade Jeff Mbako, my former senior assistant has passed away.
Our association started in exile, after which comrade Mbako served as my senior aide for many years until his retirement in 2018. I have always relied on his wisdom and wide knowledge of our communities. We have lost a kind and patient person,” said Geingob.
“During this moment of grief, I condole
with his wife, comrade Nangula Mbako, the children, the entire Mbako family, as well as comrades and friends. May God grant you strength and courage during this difficult period. May the soul of comrade Jeff Mbako Rest in Eternal Peace.”
Mbako served as Geingob’s advisor from 2015 until his retirement in 2018. He had also served as special advisor to the minister of justice between 2012 and 2015. Mbako left Namibia to join the liberation struggle, working in the transport division of Swapo in exile. He holds a Diploma in Public Administration and Management from the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) and later obtained a BL Honours Degree from the University of Zimbabwe.
After independence, Mbako served between 1993-2003 as special advisor to the founding prime minister, Geingob, subsequently worked as a community development officer, labour advisor for the City of Windhoek.
Mbako was also a staunch member of local football club Tigers. An acquaintance, Mocks Shivute, paid glowing tribute to him yesterday. “I’m really saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing. He was a great friend and mentor to me. Our friendship started from our days at the Old Location as we were neighbours and when the apartheid government moved us to Donkerhoek, we still remained neighbours. Not just that, but we also went into exile the same year 1974 and our close ties continued. Upon our return to Namibia around 1989 heading into independence, that is when we got involved with Tigers, serving on the club’s executive board. The club benefitted greatly from Tate Jeff’s wisdom and diplomacy.
He was a wise gentle giant, always ready and willing to share knowledge with others. He loved jokes too.” In a statement yesterday, the Mbako family said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course. The family also confirmed his remains were due to be cremated yesterday.