‘We just lost him’ – Mbumba shares moment doctors broke news of Geingob’s death

Nangolo Mbumba

“We have just lost him.”

These were the words of the doctors who announced to then vice president Nangolo Mbumba and others at Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Windhoek that president Hage Geingob had died shortly after midnight on 4 February.

Mbumba opened up for the first time about Geingob’s final days in a candid interview with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on Sunday.

Alongside him during the NBC interview was National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi.

The two men spoke of how they clung to the hope of Geingob’s recovery until the final hours.

Mbumba said when Geingob flew to the United States on 24 January for cancer treatment, he had high hopes the president would return to his old energetic self.

When Geingob returned a few days later, he was immediately taken to hospital.

Katjavivi, one of Geingob’s close friends and peers, was one of the people who visited Geingob just hours before he took his final breath.

He said he and a few other people were called to the hospital on 3 February after 17h00, where they were briefed by Geingob’s medical team.

“It gave us a sense of hope that the options are available to the medical team to do the best but I recall when we were taken in to view him in the intensive care unit (ICU), I looked carefully at his face and I wanted to leave with something symbolising hope.

“I may be wrong but it was a very difficult period and I felt I was looking at his eyes, eyebrows, and I thought his eyebrows were moving and I left the ICU. I was talking to myself, comforting myself that there is a hope for recovery,” he said.

Katjavivi said in the early hours of Sunday morning while still asleep, he received a call that the president had died.

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