Namibia: President Mbumba to Continue Geingob’s Legacy

Namibia has a new president.

Newly inaugurated President Nangolo Mbumba, who succeeded the late President Hage Geingob, has promised to pick up from where his predecessor left off and continue his legacy.

Mbumba, who spoke to New Era shortly after being sworn in said: “I will serve the people of Namibia to the best of my ability and continue the legacy of not only the late Geingob but also that of Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma”.

Born in Olukonda village in Oshikoto region, Mbumba (82) will be the fourth president following the death of Geingob, who died in the early hours of yesterday.

Geingob, who was in his final term, lost his battle against cancer.

Mbumba will lead Namibia for the remainder of Geingob’s tenure as per the country’s constitutional provisions.

He said he would uphold the country’s security, promote education and health.

During his inauguration speech, Mbumba thanked the nation for the honour bestowed upon him to be the President. Mbumba, like his predecessor, promised to not overstay his welcome.

“I am not going to be around for the elections, so don’t panic, you are already telling yourselves stories. So, I will only be serving you for the remainder of the late’s term. We understand one another so let’s support one another,” he said immediately shunning down rumours that might arise with his succession.

Mbumba also thanked former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who was in attendance, for appointing him as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia (Unam) in 2017.

“So, this is the second time I am walking in your footsteps, thank you so much,” he said. After being sworn in Mbumba appointed former Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as Vice President and she was also sworn in by Chief Justice Peter Shivute.

With this appointment, Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also Swapo’s candidate for the next presidential election, immediately vacated her positions as member of parliament as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

“I have taken an oath and there are clear commitments on that oath, I can only reaffirm that I will do my best in order to work in accordance to what I have said in public. Also serve the responsibility of this office,” she said in an interview with this reporter. In the aftermath of Geingob’s passing, a heavy atmosphere permeated the halls of the State House as ministers and government officials entered with expressions marked by a mix of grief and uncertainty. The loss of ‘Omes’ or ‘Hagelolo’, as he was affectionately known, cast a shadow over the political environment.

“I have not only lost a president, I have also lost a dear friend and brother but I think what we need to do is ensure his legacy lives on and we commit ourselves to carry on where he left off,” said the former special adviser on Africa for the United Nations, Bience Gawanas, bursting into tears.

Nandi-Ndaitwah remembers Geingob as a people’s person, pan-Africanist and a statesman who has done a lot for the country during and after independence.

“The only way we can honour his legacy is to remain united as the Namibian House where we must be guided by the principle of solidarity, freedom and justice,” she said sadly.

Meanwhile health minister Kalumbi Shangula called on the nation to remain calm and strong during the difficult time.

Echoing the same sentiments, mines minister Tom Alweendo said: “We were all caught by surprise, we know that the President has been sick but we are pained by this. Let’s humble ourselves and remain calm, like the President has said this is a year of expectations, although we didn’t expect this to happen, with the unity of this country, we will pull through,” said Alweendo.

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