Elections

 

Today marks exactly seven days since Namibia was shaken to its foundations with the news of the death of Dr. Hage Geingob, the third president of Namibia.

Sunday, February 4, will be marked with a dark blot in the annals of history as it is the day on which a President of Namibia died while in office.

The nation is united in collective grief, and many are still grappling to come to terms with the stark reality that Dr. Geingob will no longer walk the streets of Namibia.

Heavy rain prevailed over most parts of Namibia, as if in anticipation of the unprecedented mourning lying in wait for Namibians.

In a heavy downpour, accompanied by thunder and lighting, our news crew went to State House in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

They found the then-acting President, Dr. Nangolo Mbumba, in the presence of the Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, Dr. Albert Kawana, and lawyer Sisa Namandje, who made the sad announcement.

That shock announcement set off a series of events. 

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation started with a continuous live broadcast that day.

Dr. Nangolo Mbumba, then still acting President, convened an emergency Cabinet meeting.

In between, messages of shock and condolences started pouring in.

Internationally, Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel was the first to react, saying the Caribbean island is deeply pained. Cuba to say goodbye to President Geingob, a dear friend to Cuba. 

As Namibians woke up to the news, the outpouring of shock and grief became palpable. 

The ruling Swapo Party, whose leader was no longer at the helm, had its vice president make an announcement.

The Namibian Cabinet, after a two-hour deliberation on Chapter 5 of the Namibian Constitution, particularly Articles 27, 28, and 34, dealt with the succession of a President. moved swiftly. 

Later that afternoon, a briefing was called at State House to swear in Dr. Mbumba as Namibia's fourth president.

At the same time, Netumbo-Nandi Ndaitwah was sworn in as Vice President, taking over from Mbumba and relinquishing her portfolios as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

With stability having been consolidated, continuity secured, and the stormy waters now being navigated with the captain at the helm, the speed of action was hailed across the world. 

Current became former in a space of half a day.

The business of the government had to continue, and on Friday, five days after the untimely demise of the late Dr. Geingob, further announcements were made. 

The appointment of Nandi-Ndaitwah as Vice President left two vacancies, as, in line with the Namibian Constitution, the Vice President of the country cannot hold any other portfolio. 

President Mbumba announced at State House that John Mutorwa, Minister of Works and Transport, now become Deputy Prime Minister while holding on to his ministerial portfolio. Dr. Peya Mushelenga, formerly of the ICT ministry, becomes Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, with his former Deputy Minister, Emma Teofelus, taking over the reins as Minister. Former nbc journalist and now MP, Modestus Amutse, was confirmed as Deputy MICT Minister.

While that was ongoing, the National Ministerial Preparatory Committee on the arrangements for the late Dr. Geingob, chaired by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhilla, had its work cut out. In the same week, funeral arrangements were finalised, and the dates for the main memorial service and state funeral were announced.

Many observers have noted that while the nation was rocked to its foundations, swift action, backed by the Namibian Constitution, allowed for handling the unexpected, while the unity of purpose witnessed across the nation is another beacon in the cap of the Land of the Brave.

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Photo Credits
nbc Digital News

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Author
Peter Denk