February 5, 2024

Namibian President Hage Geingob Dies Following Cancer Diagnosis

Namibia mourns the loss of its leader, President Hage Geingob, who passed away at the age of 82 in a hospital on a somber Sunday morning.

The presidency confirmed the unfortunate news, revealing that Geingob succumbed to cancer just weeks after receiving the diagnosis.

Having steered the sparsely populated and predominantly arid southern African nation since 2015, Geingob had previously triumphed over prostate cancer, making his recent battle all the more poignant.

In the wake of his departure, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba steps into the role of leadership, overseeing Namibia—a mining hub adorned with substantial deposits of diamonds and the coveted lithium used in electric car batteries. Mbumba will lead the nation until the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for the year's end.

The official announcement of Geingob's passing, posted on a social media platform, refrained from disclosing the specific cause of death.

A month prior, the presidency had shared that the late president had traveled on a journey to the United States for a unique two-day cancer treatment following a routine medical check-up.

Born in 1941, Hage Geingob played a pivotal political role well before Namibia secured its independence from the clutches of white minority-ruled South Africa in 1990.

Instrumental in the drafting of Namibia's constitution, he assumed the position of the country's first prime minister at the moment of independence on March 21, 1990, retaining the role until 2002.

Subsequently, in 2007, Geingob ascended to the position of vice president within the ruling South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), a party he had passionately joined as an advocate for independence during Namibia's era as South West Africa.

SWAPO, unchallenged in power since independence, governs Namibia—a former German colony with a technical classification as an upper-middle-income country but grappling with significant wealth disparities.

In the face of challenges, Geingob candidly acknowledged that Namibia's wealth remained concentrated within the hands of its white minority. His passing occurred at Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek, where he received treatment from his dedicated medical team, as confirmed by the presidency, marking the end of an era in Namibian leadership.

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