Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, 82, died early Sunday, the presidency stated, weeks after he was recognized with most cancers.
Geingob had been accountable for the thinly populated and largely arid southern African nation since 2015, the 12 months he introduced he had survived prostate most cancers.
Vice President Nangolo Mbumba takes the helm in Namibia — a mining hotspot with vital deposits of diamonds and the electrical automobile battery ingredient lithium — till presidential and parliamentary elections on the finish of the 12 months.
A presidency publish on social media platform X didn’t give a reason behind dying, however late final month the presidency stated he had traveled to america for “a two-day novel remedy for cancerous cells,” after being recognized following a daily medical check-up.
Born in 1941, Geingob was a distinguished politician since earlier than Namibia achieved independence from white minority-ruled South Africa in 1990.
He chaired the physique that drafted Namibia’s structure, then turned its first prime minister at independence on March 21 of that 12 months, a place he retained till 2002.
‘Chains of injustice’
In 2007, Geingob turned vp of the governing South West Africa Individuals’s Group (SWAPO), which he had joined as an agitator for independence when Namibia was nonetheless often called South West Africa.
SWAPO has remained in energy in Namibia unchallenged since independence. The previous German colony is technically an higher middle-income nation however one with large disparities in wealth.
“There have been no textbooks to arrange us for carrying out the duty of improvement and shared prosperity after independence,” he stated in a speech to mark the day in 2018. “We would have liked to construct a Namibia through which the chains of the injustices of the previous could be damaged.”
Geingob served as commerce and trade minister earlier than turning into prime minister once more in 2012.
He gained the 2014 election with 87% of the vote however solely narrowly prevented a runoff with somewhat greater than half the votes in a subsequent ballot in November 2019.
That election adopted a authorities bribery scandal, through which officers have been alleged to have awarded horse mackerel quotas to Iceland’s largest fishing agency, Samherji, in alternate for kickbacks, in accordance with native media experiences. The resultant outcry led to the resignation of two ministers.
The next 12 months, Geingob lamented that Namibia’s wealth nonetheless remained concentrated within the arms of its white minority.
“Distribution is a matter, however how will we do it?” Geingob stated in a digital session at an occasion organized by worldwide group Horasis.
“We’ve a racial concern right here, a historic racial divide. Now you say we should seize from the whites and provides it to the Blacks, it isn’t going to work,” he stated.
His feedback got here after the federal government rescinded as unworkable a coverage that will have made it obligatory for white-owned companies to promote a 25% stake to Black Namibians.
Geingob died at Girl Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek, the place he was receiving remedy from his medical workforce, the presidency stated.