Namibia's President Hage Gottfried Geingob, one of the main heroes or Namibia Independence and Revolution against Apartheid has died. He was 82 years old. The death was announced by Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba who has later been sworn-in as the interim president until the elections planned later this year. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who was previously serving as the Deputy-Prime Minister of Namibia from 2015 to 2024, has now been appointed the interim vice-president. Shen may be the next president and the first female president of Namibia if she wins the upcoming elections planned for November 2024.
Hage Gottfried Geingob died on Sunday February 4, 2024 in a hospital in the capital, Windhoek, Namibia where he was receiving medical treatment. He is one of the Namibia independence and revolutionary heroes. He became president of Namibia in 2015, after serving in several top political positions after Namibia gained independence in 1990.
He is well known for his leading role in Namibia's struggle against and liberation from colonialism and apartheid. He was one of the leaders of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO)party. The SWAPO party is a political party and former independence movement in Namibia. SWAPO was founded in 1960, by Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Sam Nujoma, Jacob Kuhangua, Louis Nelengani, and Lucas Nepela, as a replacement of the Ovamboland People's Organization (OPO).
SWAPO has been the governing party in Namibia since the country achieved independence in 1990. Before the independence SWAPO led the struggle against South Africa apartheid regime that had effectively annexed Namibia, then known as South West Africa. After annexing Namibia, South Africa Apartheid regime introduced the apartheid system that was built on legalized racism excluding black people from social, political, and economic power and progress.
Hage Geingob was a resolved revolutionary, since his early age. In 1960, then 19 years old, he was expelled from school for having participated in a march to protest against the poor quality of education for Namibian black people. He went into exile and lived for more than 27 years in several countries including Botswana, the UK, and the US. He studied and got a PhD in politics from the University of Leeds, UK.
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He came back to Namibia in 1989, a year before the independence in 1990. Upon landing into Namibia, he kissed the soil and expressed the fact that his exile and struggle have been worthwhile, promising the Namibian people a major progress ahead.
He became president following the 2014 elections, when he succeeded one of the most successful Namibian SWAPO revolutionary leaders, Hifikepinye Pohamba.
Hifikepinye Pohamba became government Minister, before being chosen by Sam Nujoma to succeed him as president in 2004. He was was re-elected in 2009 (see: Namibian President Hifikepinye Pohamba Wins Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership ).
Hage Geingob's Presidency Marred With Challenges; Hopes in the First Woman's Presidency in Namibia.
Hage Geingob's promises to the Namibian people did not materialize when he assumed the presidency, after years of being the prime minister. His presidency was marred by several problems including stagnant economy and high levels of unemployment, poverty, and corruption scandals.
In the last years of his presidency, due to these challenges and his declining health, the reputation of SWAPO as a revolutionary movement that brought changes and progress for the Namibian people has been under threat, especially for the new generation.
In consideration of the degrading reputation of the SWAPO aging leader, SWAPO decided to change the course and nominated a women as its leading candidate in the next upcoming elections planned in November 2024.
The woman, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who was previously serving as the Deputy-Prime Minister of Namibia from 2015 to 2024, has now been appointed the interim Vice-President. If she wins in the November 2024 elections, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah will make history and become Namibia's first female president.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also lived into exile for 16 years, from 1974, joining SWAPO in Zambia and working at the SWAPO headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia from 1974 to 1975 and earning degrees in universities in UK.
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