‘I don’t want to disappoint Geingob’

Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele

Deputy minister of urban and rural development Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele has expressed her determination to serve the nation and uphold the trust vested in her by president Hage Geingob.

Speaking to The Namibian last week, !Nawases-Taeyele revealed a conversation with Geingob during her appointment last September.
“He told me not to fail the nation, but to go and serve,” she recounted.

“I am indebted by the trust he put in me. I will do exactly what he told me. I don’t want to disappoint him in his grave,” !Nawases-Taeyele said.

She said the news of Geingob’s death on 4 February deeply affected her.

“I was shocked,” she said.

“Although I knew the president was not feeling well, I did not expect he would pass on so soon.”

She described learning the news at home, feeling devastated and unable to sleep.

!Nawases-Taeyele shared a personal connection with Geingob, reminiscing about their time in parliament.

“When I joined in 2005, I was the assistant chief whip, while Geingob was the chief whip,” she said.

“He always encouraged us (young people) not to rush for positions, saying they would come in due time,” !Nawases-Taeyele said

The deputy minister’s pledge to serve with dedication and honour Geingob’s trust highlights the significant impact the late president had on her and the nation.

Meanwhile, minister in the Presidency Christine //Hoebes, who has worked closely with Geingob, last week lauded the president’s commitment to “consistency and predictability” through established governance frameworks.

She shared glimpses of her interaction with Geingob.

//Hoebes recounts private conversations in Damara, their mother language.

“I will always savour our moments in his office or in the corridors of State House, where he would share with me personal stories of his life – secrets I was made to swear not to divulge to anybody. Some secrets were funny, some serious.

“All these conversations were held mostly in our vernacular, which is the Damara language. Those were our own private moments that I’ll hold dear forever,” she said.

//Hoebes paints a picture of Geingob as a kind-hearted family man who found solace and strength in the love of his family.

“His excellency the president was also a very focused and results-driven man who put a very high premium on seeing policies translate into the betterment of the standard of life of Namibians, especially the marginalised and the elderly,” she said.

She said she will remember Geingob for his tireless efforts in spearheading the green industrial revolution.

“Also a great proponent of upholding the principles of good governance and constitutional democracy . . . He served till his last breath,” //­Hoebes said.

Swapo Party Youth League secretary Christine Haindaka described Geingob as a role model who exemplified inclusivity and who had the ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

“President Geingob’s accessibility extended beyond personal interaction,” she said.

Haindaka said Geingob’s legacy of inclusivity, compassion and dedication to the youth will continue to inspire her as she honours his memory and strives to uphold the values he embodied.

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