Thứ Tư, Tháng Hai 28, 2024
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Namibian president who played a modernising role

Hage Gottfried Geingob served as the third president of Namibia from 2015 till his dying on February 4 2024. He used to be Namibia’s first top minister from 1990 to 2002, and served as top minister once more from 2012 to 2015.

Geingob used to be born on 3 August 1941. He joined the ranks of the nationwide liberation motion South West African Other folks’s Organisation (Swapo all through its formation in 1960.

Because the respectable observation declared:

The Namibian country has misplaced a prominent servant of the folk, a
liberation battle icon, the manager architect of our charter and the pillar of the Namibian area.

As Swapo’s candidate he used to be elected as Namibia’s president for 2015 to 2020 in November 2014. In 2017 he changed Hifikepunye Pohamba as birthday celebration president. As head of state with far reaching executive powers, he remained in keep an eye on over birthday celebration and govt since then.

Geingob’s political occupation differed from that of his predecessors Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba. Nujoma, the founding president of Swapo, served as president for 3 phrases (1990-2005). Pohamba (2005-2015) used to be his designated successor.

Geingob personified a “changing of the guard”. His complex formal training left an imprint at the approach of governance all through his phrases in place of work. A more youthful era moved steadily into upper birthday celebration and state ranks. He effectively changed the heroic battle narrative and grew to become it right into a extra inclusive, patriotic historical past.

Geingob had his cultural roots within the Damara group. This made him other from the mainstream Swapo management, which is principally from the Oshiwambo-speaking inhabitants. House to the contract labour motion, the previous Ovamboland used to be the cradle of Swapo.

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Geingob’s other background counted amongst many Namibians in his favour when campaigning for government. Those welcomed a pace-setter with origins in an ethnically outlined minority team as an indication of multi-cultural plurality.

Studying at the USA American Temple College in Philadelphia, the Fordham College (BA) and The New College (MA), each in New York, Geingob used to be representing Swapo for the reason that mid-Nineteen Sixties on the United Countries. In 1975 he was the top of the United Nations Institute for Namibia in Lusaka.

He returned to Namibia in mid-1989, main the Swapo election marketing campaign within the transition to independence below supervision of the United Nations. He performed a decisive role as chairman of the elected Constituent Assembly.

He used to be appointed Top Minister in 1990.

In 2002 he fell into shame for no longer supporting Sam Nujoma’s presidency-for-life ambitions. As an alternative of accepting his demotion to Minister of Regional and Native Executive and Housing, he was govt secretary of the Washington-based Global Coalition for Africa.

In 2004 he got a PhD on the College of Leeds for a thesis on state formation in Namibia.

He returned the similar 12 months to Namibia. Due to Pohamba’s reconciliatory way, he made a outstanding comeback. Minister of Business and business from 2008 to 2012, he once more was Top Minister (2012-2015).

His suave political-strategic thoughts prepared the ground to be elected as president of the birthday celebration and state.

Within the Presidential and Nationwide Meeting elections of November 2014 Geingob and Swapo scored the most efficient leads to the rustic’s historical past. Whilst Nujoma used to be termed the president for steadiness and Pohamba the president for continuity, Geingob campaigned as president for prosperity.

This made him the president of unfulfilled guarantees.

Geingob’s rhetoric disclosed a more potent distinction between what is claimed and what’s accomplished than that of his predecessors. He used extra populist rhetoric as his taste of governance and management, coining the metaphor of the “Namibian Area.

As he declared in his inaugural address:

All folks should play our section within the good fortune of this gorgeous area we name Namibia. We want to renew it every now and then by means of present process renovations and extensions. … Allow us to stand in combination in development this new Namibian area through which no Namibian will really feel not noted.

However over time many felt not noted. The November 2019 parliamentary and presidential election results had been the worst for Swapo since independence. A 2020 Afrobarometer survey showed a decline of trust.

Is reasonably, Geingob entered place of work at a hard time. The rustic confronted fiscal constraints and a length of great droughts, adopted by means of the disturbing have an effect on of Covid. Because of this, the socio-economic monitor document below Geingob used to be at absolute best blended. On steadiness, his governance used to be characterized by means of a substantial hole between promises and delivery .

Beneath Geingob a decline of ethics was visual, manifested spectacularly in a corruption scandal within the fishing industry. It was the synonym of state seize. Preventing corruption was Geingob’s mantra. However it had little credibility within the eyes of a much wider public.

Geingob used to be first married (1967-1992) to a strong-minded African-American lady. Fondly known as “Auntie Patty”, Priscilla Geingos used to be laid to rest in Windhoek in 2014.

Sooner than coming into place of work, Geingob (divorced for a 2nd time from Loini Kandume in 2008) married the businesswoman Monica Kalondo in 2015. Robust, unswerving, and independent-minded, Monica Geingos was an active and internationally recognised First Lady.

Amongst Geingob’s maximum laudable achievements is a gender-aware policy. It increased Namibia into the league of nations with the best possible percentage of girls in main political places of work.

He took a stand against gender-based violence and the rustic advanced in final the gender inequality hole.

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He used to be additionally reluctant to offer in to homophobia prevalent amongst parliamentarians. In Might 2023 the Excellent Courtroom dominated in favour of equal treatment of 2 international similar intercourse spouses married to Namibian electorate. Whilst the majority of individuals of the Nationwide Meeting driven via a regulation modification searching for to invalidate the verdict, Geingob till his passing didn’t signal the invoice into regulation.

One of the most ultimate respectable statements by means of Geingob, on 13 January 2024, testified to his solid perspectives. Disenchanted over Germany’s taking facet with Israel on the World Courtroom of Justice, he fumed:

The German Executive is but to completely compensate for the genocide it dedicated on Namibian soil. Germany can’t morally specific dedication to the United Countries Conference towards genocide, together with atonement for the genocide in Namibia, while supporting the identical of a holocaust and genocide in Gaza.

Geingob used to be bold to go into Namibian historical past because the president who did extra to advertise the welfare and development of electorate. However he struggled to show that imaginative and prescient into fact in place of work. Namibia stays some of the most unequal countries on this planet.

As he reiterated in his New Year Address 2024:

In an effort to snatch the alternatives which can be in keeping with our ambitions and expectancies, we will have to redouble our efforts to make Namibia a greater nation. I name on every one in every of you to paintings tougher for our collective welfare. I name on all of you to carry fingers and to be sure that no person feels not noted of the Namibian Area.

His legacy as a moderniser will live to tell the tale in spite of all of the contradictions and unfulfilled guarantees.

Hamba kahle (Relaxation in peace).



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