President  bids farewell to Geingob President Mnangagwa being welcomed by Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday on arrival from the burial of late Namibian President Hage Geingob in Windhoek 

Kudakwashe Mugari in WINDHOEK, Namibia

THOUSANDS of mourners from all walks of life gathered to pay their last respects to the late Namibian President, Dr Hage Geingob, who was buried at the Heroes Acre here yesterday.

Among the mourners was the late Namibia leader’s friend and brother, President Mnangagwa, who came to bid farewell to a counterpart he has known since the days of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

Indeed, February 4, 2024 will go down in the annals of history as a sad day on which death robbed the Namibian  and African people of a stalwart and liberator.

The collective emotional pain of the people of Namibia and the whole of the SADC region was palpable regardless of ethnicity, age or gender — a testimony that President Geingob was a man of the people.

The presence of 18 Heads of State and Government, five former Presidents, six Prime Ministers and 27 delegations from other countries, spoke volumes about what a great and revered man President Geingob was, not only to his people but to Africa and the entire world.

In a heartfelt eulogy he delivered at the memorial service for Dr Geingob at Independence Stadium on Saturday, President Mnangagwa hailed the late Namibian leader for being a brave national hero and Pan-African champion. 

“He was a hero and a visionary statesman who served his people with utmost distinction,” said President Mnangagwa. 

“He championed the values of Pan-Africanism and the emancipation for the peoples of Africa. He was a staunch supporter of African independence.”

President Geingob was described as a visionary who will be remembered by many Zimbabweans for working tirelessly to scale up the already cordial relations between Windhoek and Harare.

Relations between the two countries date back to the days of the liberation struggle, during which the two supported each other.

Zimbabwe was to become the first of the two to gain independence from Britain in 1980, with Namibia securing its own Uhuru in 1990.

Presidents Mnangagwa and Dr Geingob met a couple of times to upgrade the cordial relations to an even higher level.

“I recall that during my State visit to this great country in 2019, President Geingob and I resolved to upgrade our relations to the level of a Bi-National Commission to further deepen the multi-pronged scope of our cooperation,” President Mnangagwa said.

“In Zimbabwe we shall remember him for working tirelessly to consolidate the long standing relations that exist between our two countries.”

Going forward, President Mnangagwa called on Namibians and African leaders to preserve President Geingob’s legacy. 

“He left an indelible legacy which we must

 preserve and hand down to younger generations. He was committed to justice and equality for all. Let’s continue building and modernising our nations for a higher quality life for all Africans,” he said.

Namibia President Nangolo Mbumba said the legacy of the late President Geingob will extend beyond borders.

“Although he has physically departed from this world, his legacy extends beyond borders. 

“We lost a man who touched many hearts, a caring leader who dedicated his life to serve and uplift others. 

“He was a mentor who championed the establishment of a public service charter on a solid foundation,” he said.

President Mnangagwa chats with fellow Heads of State South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, Angolan President Joao Manuel Lourenco and Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the burial of Namibia’s late President Hage Geingob at the Heroes Acre in Windhoek yesterday – Pictures by Presidential Photographer Joseph Nyadzayo

President Mbumba challenged everyone to carry forward Dr Geingob’s dream of a “Namibian House” where all feel a sense of belonging and to continue striving for national prosperity.

He added that President Geingob departed while his dream of a Namibian House was incomplete. 

“It is my hope and wish that we will take up the mantle of leadership to ensure the dream is not deferred indefinitely,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa returned home yesterday.

He was welcomed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Harare Metropolitan Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Charles Tawengwa, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Martin Rushwaya, other senior Government officials and service chiefs.

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