Geingob’s medical treatment in US questioned

Hage Geingob

Political analyst Joseph Diescho has questioned why president Hage Geingob has accepted an offer of medical care in the United States (US).

Geingob accepted an offer by scientists and medical professionals in Los Angeles to undergo therapy in the US.

He will be gone from Thursday until 2 February and vice president Nangolo Mbumba will take over the reins during this time.

Last Friday, Geingob revealed that medical tests indicated the presence of cancerous cells in his body.

Diescho made reference to the state of the health facilities in the country.

“While we wish our president well and a speedy recovery, we cannot forget the pain and suffering that our African leaders inflict upon their citizens. Namibia’s health facilities are falling apart,” Diescho said.

He said he knew for a while that Geingob was to be flown to the US for medical treatment.

Geingob in November, acknowledged that there are challenges in the health sector, however, he emphasised the government’s commitment to prioritising the public health sector.

This, he said, is evident through the budget allocation to the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The Presidency announced this in a statement issued yesterday.

“An unintended, but welcome consequence of the transparency with which the president communicated about the cancerous cells has been the outpouring of prayers, well-wishes, including offers of medical support from Namibians, friends, leading specialist physicians and scientists from across the globe,” noted the statement.

The Presidency made it clear that most of Geingob’s treatment will take place locally.

“While 95% of the treatment for the cancerous cells will be carried out in Namibia, the Presidency wishes to confirm that the treatment the president will undergo in the United States of America is limited to seven days.”

The statement also noted that the president will not use a dime of taxpayers’ money for his travel, medical and accommodation expenses.

“Crucially, the medical technology will be transferred to Namibia and president Geingob will travel with his medical team and this will also result in the necessary transfer of advanced medical skills, which will be used for the treatment of other patients in Namibia,” noted the Presidency.

Analyst Rui Tyitende, who earlier this week proposed a Cabinet reshuffle and for Geingob to consider resigning, sent well wishes to the president.

“May the ancestors be with him in this difficult period,” he said.

Tyitende earlier advised Geingob not to take chances with the business of running the country.

According to Article 34 of the Namibian Constitution, if the president is unable to fulfil the duties of the office, the vice president, prime minister, deputy prime minister or a person appointed by the Cabinet will run the Office of the President.

This is until the president is able to resume his duties.

Should Geingob opt to resign from office a year before the date on which presidential elections are required to be held, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Article 34.

Geingob’s press secretary Alfredo Hengari did not respond to a text message sent to him yesterday.

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