I will finish Geingob’s tenure – Mbumba

Newly sworn-in president Nangolo Mbumba has made it clear he would only complete his predecessor, Hage Geingob’s tenure.

Mbumba said this yesterday after being sworn in as Namibia’s fourth president alongside new vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Geingob died yesterday at 00h04 after battling cancer and undergoing trial treatment in the United States.

Mbumba was sworn in over 12 hours later to ensure the country’s administration is not interrupted.

“I am not going to be around for the elections. So don’t panic.

“You are telling yourself stories already. I will be serving you for the remainder of Geingob’s term in office. We understand one another. Let’s support one another,” Mbumba said.

Mbumba’s sentiments comes after political analyst Rui Tyitende told Desert Radio the new president would serve until March 2025 when a newly elected president is inaugurated.

Mbumba yesterday reminisced about his time working with Geingob.

“If I were to say all the things I could remember, how I met Hage Geingob in New York in 1967. He was already the leader of the students.

“He was already a representative there. When we came to Namibia I worked in his office,” he said.

Mbumba accepted the role with “humility this noble assignment bestowed upon [me]”.

“I take on this heavy mantle cognisant of the weight of the responsibility to serve all the people of Namibia with the utmost dedication and commitment, to the service of all citizens,” he said.

Mbumba said it is reassuring to note that the country remains calm and stable in a time of heaviness.

“This is owing to the visionary leadership and foresight of president Geingob, who was the chief architect of the Namibian Constitution and the champion of our governance architecture based on sound processes, systems and institutions that are guiding us today,” he said.

“As I assume the Office of the President, a vacancy is created in the Office of the Vice President,” Mbumba said as he introduced Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as his second in charge.

Mbumba earlier yesterday announced that Nandi-Ndaitwah and prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa would lead a high-level committee with other Cabinet ministers.

“We have met, we have consulted and we have created a committee to prepare for all the arrangements that need to be done before our president Hage Geingob is given his rightful place in the annals of the heroes of Namibia,” he said.

This committee will work hand in hand with the committee which deals with government funerals, chaired by Cabinet secretary George Simataa.

SMOOTH TRANSITION

National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi yesterday highlighted the peaceful swearing-in ceremony and transfer of power.

“It is an indication that, as a nation, we have institutions and systems that are working – very much in line with the late president Hage Geingob. I think he would be extremely proud, where he is now, to see that his passing is taken care of,” Katjavivi said.

The speaker told The Namibian yesterday that he is yet to come to terms with Geingob’s death.

“Some of us have known him way back from high school to our time in exile, to back home. It is very difficult to accept that he is with us no more,” the speaker said.

He said Namibians should learn from the legacy Geingob left behind.

Minister of sport, youth and national service Agnes Tjongarero has described the late president as a keen sportsman.
“He has sport in his heart. He would always ask: ‘How can we improve? Where can we improve?’,” she told the media yesterday.

One of her key appointment priorities given by Geingob was to ensure that football becomes professional, the minister said.

“As a testimony, on his sickbed, as sick as he was, he even sent a message to the Brave Warriors.”

Tjongarero said this showed Geingob’s commitment to the team.

The Forum of German-Speaking Namibians remembers the late president for his efforts in restoring investors’ confidence, especially with recent funding for oil, gas and green hydrogen projects.

“The foresight of establishing the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board in March 2021 to facilitate development and promote Namibia is another notable achievement,” chairperson Harald Hecht said yesterday.

He said Geingob endeavoured to be a president for all and requested all Namibians to take up their rightful place in the ‘Namibian House’.

“Our sincere condolences go to the first lady, Monica Geingos, his immediate family, all relatives, and the entire Namibian nation. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Hecht said.

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