I will miss spending Christmas and New Year with Geingob – Mbumba

Efano: Namibian Presidency EFIMBO LI DJUU … Pelesidente Nangolo Mbumba (pokati) nomunashipundi weumbo lopashiwana Peter Katjavivi (kolumosho) pefimbo leyeululo lopaliamente omafiku aa.

President Nangolo Mbumba says he will miss spending Christmas and New Year celebrations with the late head of state Hage Geingob, whose death earlier this month hit him hard because of their close friendship.

He said this during an interview on the national broadcaster, NBC, on Sunday.

Mbumba and Geingob’s friendship was formed when they met for the first time in New York in 1967.

In 1964, Geingob was appointed Swapo representative at the United Nations and to the Americas.

He served in this position until 1971. He travelled extensively across the United States. Eventually the United Nations General Assembly recognised Swapo as the sole and authentic representative of the people of Namibia.

Their friendship, Mbumba said, was strengthened over the years as they fought for freedom together with other exiled Namibians.

This would eventually lead to their lives being intertwined with work, politics, government administration and also their families.

President Mbumba described announcing Geingob’s death on 4 February as difficult.

“It hit me hard because I’m not making an announcement of somebody else, but that we have lost a head of state, we have lost a comrade, we have lost a friend. And I have to do it because that now became my duty and responsibility. It was hitting hard to see him there, and the doctors are saying we have lost him… a very, very, difficult moment.

“I will continue to process his loss for as long as I have this job and for the rest of my life,” said Mbumba.

Mbumba described Geingob as his best friend, trusted confidante and a brother.

“I will miss going to his home, Casa Rosalia, invited or uninvited, spending Christmas and New Year’s Day together.

I was adopted by Mama Hendrina Thomas, the late aunt of Geingob. She was my mother, just as she was Geingob’s and I would speak at their family occasions on behalf of Geingob.

Mbumba attempted multiple times to retire from public service, but the late president would have none of that. He narrated when Geingob was appointed director of elections in 1989, he was appointed as administrative adviser in the same office, and he would go on serving in different portfolios as a minister, ranging from agriculture, finance and education.

Mbumba played a key role in Geingob’s campaign to become Swapo’s presidential candidate in 2012 and thereafter, took up office as Swapo secretary general and then vice president of the country.

Mbumba ascended to the Office of the President on 4 February following the death of Geingob.

“Geingob will never appoint you to any position because of friendship. No. That was not him. You must do your job well,” said Mbumba.


The friendship circle would, however, not be complete without their friend Peter Katjavivi, speaker of the National Assembly.

For Katjavivi, who is still mourning the death of his late wife Jane Katjavivi in August 2022, the loss became a double-blow.

“The people, my close friends, Geingob and the new president, we have been thrown into the same experience and it is comforting to have people who mourn with you, it makes it slightly lighter,” said Katjavivi.

He met Geingob at Augustineum High School, where Geingob was training as a teacher.
All three friends were born in 1941.

“I will miss the plans we had, how to visit each other, sitting quietly together, sharing ideas and travelling to some of the old places where we lived and visiting old friends, and helping our children and grandchildren to know each other better, and help [them] relate [to] each other so that they can appreciate what we tried to do,” said Katjavivi.

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