Geingob memorial service on today . . . Namibian leader takes last Windhoek drive The late President Hage Geingob

Kudakwashe Mugari in WINDHOEK, Namibia

EVERYTHING came to a standstill when a funeral procession for the late Namibian leader, President Hage Geingob, was held here yesterday morning as Namibians, and indeed the entire SADC region, bade farewell to an African icon.

After the procession, his body lay in state at Parliamentary Gardens for viewing by the public from 4.30pm yesterday until 11am today.

Mourners lined up the streets of Windhoek, waving Namibian, and the ruling SWAPO party flags as well as scarfs.

Today 18 world leaders including President Mnangagwa will attend a Memorial Service to be held at Independence Stadium.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Namibia, Melody Chaurura, said Namibians from all walks of life have been struggling to come to terms with the death of President Geingob.

“Since February 4, 2024 when President Geingob died, there has been a sombre atmosphere everywhere, be it workplaces, or schools. There have been several activities that include church services that have been held daily since the 5th of February and you can tell that people have been shattered.

“Today we expect President Mnangagwa to be part of the main memorial service among other Heads of State from across the world.

“As of yesterday, we had been advised that more than 27 delegations from across the world had confirmed their attendance and that out of those, 18 were Heads of State and Government including our President. We are expecting the President to attend both the memorial service tomorrow and burial on Sunday,” she said.

Ambassador Chaurura said President Mnangagwa’s presence in Namibia was key.

“This is very important, especially if we take into account the history between the two countries.

“This bond has its roots in the liberation struggle where the two countries joined hands to deliver the independence and freedom that we enjoy today. Even in the post-independence era, the two countries have continued to solidify their co-operation at political and diplomatic levels.

“We are also aware that both countries are focusing on economic diplomacy,” she said.

Other Heads of State and Government expected at the memorial service include Tanzanian President Samia Sululu Hassan, German President Frank Walter Steinmeier, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Botswana President Mogweetsi Masisi, Kenyan President William Ruto and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, among others.

Revolutionary parties like Zanu PF, ANC, Chama Chama Pinduzi, and Chinese People’s Communist Party are also sending their representatives.

After the memorial service today, burial will take place tomorrow at Namibia’s Heroes                                            Acre.

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