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Namibian President Hage Geingob Dies at 82 After Battle with Cancer

Namibian President Hage Geingob, aged 82, has passed away at Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek. His death comes less than three weeks after announcing that he would undergo treatment for cancer. 

President Geingob, a liberation struggle icon and key architect of Namibia’s constitution, died with his wife and children by his side, according to Acting President Nangolo Mbumba.

Mbumba, in a statement on Geingob’s official Facebook page, expressed the nation’s loss of a distinguished servant, liberation hero, and constitutional architect. 

He urged the nation to remain calm while the government attends to necessary state arrangements and protocols.

Last month, Geingob’s office revealed the discovery of “cancerous cells” during a routine colonoscopy and gastroscopy. 

The announcement did not provide details of the diagnosis or prognosis, stating that Geingob would continue his presidential duties. Subsequently, he traveled to the United States for medical care and was expected to return on February 2.

Geingob, who served a 12-year term as prime minister, faced health challenges before becoming Namibia’s third president in 2014. He underwent brain surgery in 2013, survived prostate cancer in 2014, and announced aortic surgery in South Africa last year.

Namibia, gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, is set to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in November. Geingob, ineligible for reelection due to term limits, leaves a political legacy that marked an era in Namibia’s history. 

The ruling SWAPO Party’s presidential candidate, Nandi-Ndaitwah, could become the country’s first female head of state if elected.

The passing of President Hage Geingob has brought a sense of deep loss to the Namibian nation, mourning the departure of a prominent figure in the country’s struggle for freedom and its constitutional development.

Source: AL Jazeera

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