Geingob remembered for his mantra‘ No one should feel left out’

Alexia Manombe-Ncube

The deputy minister of disability affairs, Alexia Manombe-Ncube, says it is painful to talk about president Hage Geingob, who greatly impacted and changed the course of her life.

Manombe-Ncube said this at a candlelight vigil as the disability community paid tribute to the late president at the Disability Resource Centre in Windhoek last Friday.

She said she could not believe it when Geingob appointed her as a deputy minister in 2020.

“. . . a girl with a disability who grew up on the dusty streets of Kalkfeld . . . to represent him and the country on disability issues.

“As a girl with crutches I had many dreams, but I never dreamed of becoming a national leader. But he made it possible and broke the barriers as per his mantra that “No one should feel left out,” Manombe-Ncube said.

She said it was important to Geingob that people with disabilities and marginalised communities have easy access to him.

“Geingob is our fallen hero who regarded all people the same – irrespective of their status and background. He did not know tribes.

“This is a clear indication of the president’s heart for vulnerable people and his desire to ensure they are included in all spheres of Namibian society,” she said.

Manombe-Ncube said the first and second Harambee Prosperity Plan clearly indicates Geingob’s desires for the nation, which is aimed at inclusivity and improved living.

Geingob ensured that social grants increased and also expressed the desire to increase the grants of the most vulnerable before his reign ends, she said.

Manombe-Ncube said many other countries have praised Namibia for progress on disability affairs.

Last week, a delegation from Eswatini visited Namibia to gain more insight on disability affairs, and joined the candlelight vigil.

National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) chief executive Angelique Philander at the same event said Geingob loved his country and nation, and dedicated his life in service to the country.

She said his contribution nationally, regionally and internationally to the disability community has paved the way for people with disabilities to become productive citizens.

Geingob established a disability unit under the Office of the Prime Minister in 2001 and appointed advisers on disability and the same year launched the Namibian Constitution in Braille, she said.

Through advocacy, he launched the Continental Plan of Action for the African Decade of People with Disabilities, Philander said.

When Geingob became president, he made sure people with disabilities were represented in parliament by creating the ministry.

It is also during his administration that children with disabilities’ social grant was increased from N$250 per month to N$1 400, Philander said.

She said the disability community cannot thank Geingob enough for the crucial role he played in ensuring that Namibia becomes an inclusive society.

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