Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has described president Hage Geingob as a brave man, a seasoned politician, tactful negotiator, servant leader and a pillar of the ‘Namibian House’.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this during the candlelighting memorial service held to honour the late president at the Office of the Prime Minister in Windhoek yesterday.
She said since news of Geingob’s death broke on Sunday, 4 February, the nation has been in the grip of shock and sadness.
“President Geingob not only emphasised economic growth, but it has always been human development and that is where the pillar of social progression comes in under the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” she added.
She further implored civil servants to see their work not only as a responsibility as part of their contracts or a routine to be carried out but as an honour and privilege.
“To aim to be impactful in a way that can be transformational to every Namibian,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.
Ben Kambaendavi, who worked with Geingob when he was the prime minister, said he was chosen by the nation to be the country’s third president.
Kambaendavi said he met Geingob when he was serving as trade and industry minister, under the leadership of president Hifikepunye Pohamba between 2008 and 2012.
“I was informed that the late president wanted to see me at his farm … when you are called in by your boss, a lot comes to mind,” Kambaendavi said of his initial worry.
To his surprise, he was informed that he would be working for Geingob from that point onward.
“I followed him to the Office of the Prime Minister in 2012, when he was re-appointed as [premier]. At that new office, I was given a rank that I will never forget. I became the secretary to the prime minister, however, I was based at Casa Rosalia and not the office,” Kambaendavi said.
As a personal secretary, he was tasked with at the responsibility of dressing Geingob, which caused him to wonder how he would dress someone that was already elegantly dressed.
Also paying tribute to Geingob, Abner Xoagub, who worked alongside Geingob during his time as prime minister in 2010, said Geingob had been a public servant for longer than the previous 16 years.
“Now that the president has gone to sleep, let’s continue to be inspired by his lifelong examples and his call to never cease to work for a better and more just Namibia,” he said.
Xoagub described Geingob as a visionary leader who was able to bring Namibians from all walks of life together and a champion for tolerance towards one another as Namibians.
He recalled when they were drawing up Vision 2030 at the time, before he moved to the health ministry, and it looked like it was so far-fetched. He didn’t think they would live that long, however, it is now just six years away.
“Very soon, we will be planning Vision 2060, but before that can be done, there is a need for an evaluation as to what we have achieved thus far, and what are some of the challenges that we have faced and what has gone wrong?
“I am certainly sure that Dr Geingob will be watching us, I am sure that he is very interested on how we will be dealing with it,” said Xoagub.
Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –