Farmers mourn president

Hage Geingob

A number of farmers and farming organisations have expressed shock and disbelief at the death of president Hage Geingob in Windhoek on Sunday.

In a statement issued yesterday, Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) president Thinus Pretorius said the union has learnt of the president’s death with shock.

“We are indeed sad to bid farewell to his excellency Dr Hage Gottfried Geingob. He was pivotal in creating a spirit of Harambee which is enshrined in our constitution.

“We acknowledge his role in guarding the reconciliation process for 34 years and his tireless effort to unite the nation under one roof – our Namibian House,” he said.

Pretorius said the Namibian House is indeed much poorer and extended the union’s condolences to first lady Monica Geingos, the president’s immediate family and relatives, and the nation.

“May his sole rest in eternal peace,” Pretorius said.

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the boards and management of the NAU, the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (Necfu) and the Previously Disadvantaged Namibian Farmers Union (PDNFU) extended their condolences to the first family and the nation.

“Namibia has lost a leader for all weather. Let us all emulate his achievements and live by his legacy,” read the statement issued by Daniel Mahua, Necfu’s executive manager.

Necfu president Ndahafa Nghifindaka said: “We are all mourning and sad at his passing. We do not even know where to start … He was a man for all occasions and was for everyone.”

Cattle farmer Siegfried Schneider, who is also the chairperson of Savana Beef, said he was sorry about Geingob’s death, which came suddenly and unexpectedly.

“I have personally met him a couple of times in our involvement in agriculture. He was open to listening and to contributing to discussions, and we received good audience from those of his ministers we talked to and this was very encouraging for farmers.”

Schneider said he also interacted with Geingob on a personal level as they both came from the Otavi farming area.

“He was very jovial and approachable and we are sad at his passing,” he said.

“Even during his time as minister of trade when I was involved in organised agriculture we had good interaction. May he rest in eternal peace,” he said.

Renowned poultry farmer Erastus Kadhikwa said Geingob’s death is a hard blow for him, since he knew the president as the state president as well as on a personal level.

“It is hard for me to find the right words to describe the loss of a president we feel as poultry farmers as well as the loss I feel as an individual.

“We sometimes had lunch together – either at his place or my place – and you can imagine the sense of loss by both families.

“We were ardent followers of English soccer teams, Arsenal and Liverpool, and had he been alive he would definitely have watched Sunday’s game between the two teams.

“I wish his family and the nation the strength to go through this difficult time,” Kadhikwa said.

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