First lady was with Geingob till the end – Mbumba

FIRST COUPLE … Former first lady Monica Geingos and president Hage Gein- gob. Photo: Namibian Presidency

President Nangolo Mbumba says former first lady Monica Geingos has stood the test of time during her late husband’s Presidency, illness and death.

President Hage Geingob died on 4 February at Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Windhoek.

Mbumba said this in an interview with Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) television on Sunday, recalling his experiences during Geingob’s final days.

Mbumba and Geingob were best friends, trusted confidants and colleagues.

“The first lady stood the test of time in her character, in her responsibility, in her duty. She was there when he was finally leaving this world. She was the centre, where all the children came and just hugged her,” Mbumba said.

He said since the announcement of the president’s death, Geingos has received the president of Botswana, Mogweetsi Masisi, the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, the vice president of Angola, Louisa Damiao, the first lady of Rwanda, Jeannette Kagame, and the first lady of Botswana, Neo Masisi, among others.

Government leaders, politicians, captains of industry and countless Namibians have been passing through the couple’s private home, Casa Rosalia, since Geingob’s death.

United States (US) president Joe Biden has said he and his wife, Jill Biden, who was hosted by Geingos last year, would miss working with the couple, followed by other world leaders.

Mbumba told NBC: “She is allowing all these people to come, greeting them, and she is able to talk to them. Someone who has no strength of character would not be able to do all those things under these conditions.

“Of all people she is the number one who lost a lot. She has lost a partner, a husband, a father for her children, and we should understand that and give her space to keep her daughters and her sons under her wings.”

“I want to thank those who are praying for her, praying for the children, for the Geingob family. This is a difficult time for them. They had a person who was a star, at home and abroad. Now he is no longer there.”

The first couple tied the knot on 14 February 2015.

The couple has seven children between the two of them: Mangaliso Geingob, Nangula Geingos-Dukes, Oshoveli Munashimue, Dangos Geingos, Hage Geingob Jnr, Kayla Elago and Nino Kalondo.

The former first lady on 14 February, which would have been the couple’s ninth wedding anniversary, tweeted: “I still have no words. Rest in power, ou Hageba kai axaba (Big Boy).”

Hage Geingob Junior a day after Geingob’s death tweeted: “HURT: I am going to miss you like crazy Paps.”

He continued: “I’m not going to lie. It hurts and it’s probably going to hurt for a VERY long time. Things will never be the same and I’m going to miss you like crazy Paps, but I couldn’t be more thankful to God for blessing me with the best father a boy could ever ask for. May you rest in power, my hero, and may you continue to watch over all of us.”

The first family has also endured much criticism.

During the couple’s trip to Dubai last year political analyst Joseph Diescho criticised the first couple for taking their children and grandson to Dubai for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28).

At the time Nangula Geingos said as first children they are not entitled to any state benefits.

“We are in Dubai travelling privately, with Uber and using our common sense to avoid places that are not safe. We are having a wonderful time on holiday with our family. We are enjoying our father, our mother and Dubai.
“Enjoy your parents while you still have them here on earth with you,” she said.

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