Namibia’s President Hage Geingob dies aged 82

The African leader announced last month that he had begun treatment for cancer.

Namibian President Hage Geingob died on Sunday, with his wife and his children at his side, his office announced [Reuters]Published On 4 Feb 20244 Feb 2024

Namibian President Hage Geingob has died at the age of 82, his office has announced, less than a month after it was announced he would undergo treatment for cancer.

Geingob died on Sunday at Lady Pohamba Hospital in the capital Windhoek with his wife and his children at his side, acting president Nangolo Mbumba said in a statement posted on Geingob’s official Facebook page.

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“The Namibian nation has lost a distinguished servant of the people, a liberation struggle icon, the chief architect of our constitution and the pillar of the Namibian house,” Mbumba said.

“At this moment of deepest sorrow, I appeal to the nation to remain calm and collected while the Government attends to all necessary state arrangements, preparations and other protocols. Further announcements in this regard will be made.”

Geingob’s office announced last month that the African leader had begun treatment following the discovery of “cancerous cells” during a routine colonoscopy and gastroscopy.

The announcement did not provide details of the leader’s diagnosis or prognosis but said he would continue to carry out his presidential duties.

Geingob’s office announced several days later that he would be travelling to the United States for medical care and would return to Namibia on February 2.

Geingob, who also served a 12-year stint as prime minister, had a history of health problems that preceded his election as Namibia’s third president in 2014.

He underwent an aortic operation last year in neighbouring South Africa and in 2014, he revealed that he had survived prostate cancer.

Namibia, a former German colony that gained independence from South Africa in 1990, is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in November.

Geingob was ineligible to run for reelection as Namibia’s constitution limits the president to a maximum of two terms in office.

The ruling SWAPO Party’s candidate, Nandi-Ndaitwah, would be the country’s first female president if elected.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies