Geingob to rest in his own room at Heroes’ Acre

RESTING PLACE … President Hage Geingob will be laid to rest in one of the mausoleums at Heroes’ Acre re- served for heads of state. Photo: Tripadvisor

President Hage Geingob will on Sunday be laid to rest in one of the rooms that have been reserved for presidents at Heroes’ Acre.

A senior government source, who preferred anonymity, confirmed this to The Namibian yesterday.

Former director of the National Heritage Council and current governor of the Hardap region Salomon April yesterday said the mausoleums were built for Namibia to join international standards in honouring their heroes and heroines.

“During my time at the heritage council we used to travel to different countries to scout for best practices in terms of the preservation of heritage for Namibia. One of the practices we were introduced to as technocrats and administrators was the burial practice of honouring leaders of hero status in mausoleums.

April, who oversaw the construction of the mausoleums from 2014 to 2016, said there are four available at Heroes’ Acre.

The Patriot in 2018 reported that the structures were meant for presidents and that they are air-conditioned.

April would not confirm that the mausoleums are air-conditioned, but said the design enables the preservation of bodies after being embalmed.

President Nangolo Mbumba last week announced that Geingob was conferred hero status and will be buried at Heroes’ Acre.


Zambia is one of the countries that utilises mausoleums to bury their presidents.

They are customised for each president.

The mausoleum of Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda, has his motto ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ inscribed in it, while president Levy Mwanawasa’s mausoleum is a traditional stool, since he died as sitting president and was the first Zambian president to die in office.

It also contains a lawyer’s wig and blue cloth, since he was a lawyer.

President Frederick Chiluba’s mausoleum has his initials, ‘FTJ’, inscribed in it.

There is a cross on top of the building for the man who declared Zambia a Christian nation on 29 December 1991.
A symbol of a house signifies the role Chiluba played in empowering Zambians with council houses sold at one United States dollar, which was equivalent to 10 kwacha at the time.

At the entrance of Chiluba’s mausoleum is a necktie, signifying his taste for fashion.

On 18 March 2022, Zambia put to rest its fourth president, Rupiah Banda, affectionately known as ‘RB’, who died of cancer.

His grave features an epitaph, stating: “The world is diminished because he was here.”

Zambia will also be observing two days of national mourning, 24 and 25 February, in solidarity with Namibia.
The country’s flags will also hang at half-mast for five days.

Zambia’s cabinet secretary, Patrick Kangwa, announced this in a media statement on Tuesday.

Zambia’s current president, Hakainde Hichilema, will be attending Geingob’s state memorial and burial, the statement reads.

A contingent of Zambian soldiers has arrived in the country to assist the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) with president Hage Geingob’s burial.


Meanwhile, Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs spokesperson Petrus Shilumbu has confirmed that a contingent of Zambian soldiers arrived in Windhoek last Tuesday to assist the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) with Geingob’s burial.

Shilumbu said the NDF has its own guidelines on how to bury the president, but lacks experience.

“It is normal practice when it comes to military-to-military relations for the armed forces of friendly countries to exchange and share experiences in times of need, such as this one, where we have lost our commander-in-chief,” Shilumbu said.

He said the Zambian Defence Force assisted Malawi in 1997 during the death of that country’s late president, Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

Defence minister Frans Kapofi, information and communication technology minister Emma Theofelus, and Cabinet secretary George Simataa have this week remained tight-lipped on where exactly at Heroes’ Acre Geingob would be laid to rest.

Kapofi on Tuesday conceded that the late president would be buried at Heroes’ Acre, but said he did not know on which side of the monument.

Emma Theofelus

“Please speak to the national preparatory committee chaired by the secretary to Cabinet,” Kapofi advised.
However, Simataa referred The Namibian to Theofelus.

At a daily briefing on Geingob’s funeral yesterday, Theofelus said his burial service would conclude at around 12h00 on Sunday.

On the exact spot where Geingob is going to be laid to rest, Theofelus said that a “gravesite has been identified” in consultation with the Geingob family and ministerial committees.

However, details on its location remain undisclosed, with Heroes’ Acre currently closed to the public.

“President Hage Geingob only falls in line with those who are heroes and heroines, and a gravesite has been identified for him between the committee and the family . . .

“We hope in doing so, he will receive a dignified burial like any other hero and heroine before him,” Theofelus said.

The National Heritage Council of Namibia, which is the custodian of Heroes’ Acre, did not respond to questions sent to it yesterday.

Director Erica Ndalikokule yesterday told The Namibian she would respond at a later stage.

“I will revert when I have time. I want to give you the best,” she said.

Eighteen international heads of state and government are expected to attend Geingob’s funeral.

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