Geingob’s team since his prime minister days cherish his mentorship

WINDHOEK: People who worked closely with late President Hage Geingob from his time as Prime Minister paid him glowing tributes, describing the former Statesman as a mentor, who was good at discovering talent.

Celebrating Geingob’s tenure as Namibia’s first Prime Minister during a memorial service here Tuesday night, gratitude poured towards his unwavering ability to demand the best for everyone around him to reach their full potential.

Geingob was Namibia’s first Prime Minister from 1990 to 2002 and served in the same position again from 2012 to 2015.

Delivering his tribute Geingob’s Chief of Security, Commissioner Johan Ndjaronguru who served in his security personnel since 2000 said Geingob demanded the best from everyone around him and was very fast to offer support to get people where he wanted them to be.

Remembering his first foreign mission, Ndjaronguru expressed appreciation for the exposure, saying Geingob was a firm believer in exposing those around him for knowledge expansion and capacity build
ing. He added that the president was a meticulous and attentive man, who extended teaching such as folding of suits to those around him.

‘He always said if you expose people you expand their vision and their dreams… We all know him as a teacher who took it upon himself to inform and educate every willing person,’ he narrated.

Echoing the same sentiments Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force, Lieutenant General Joseph Shikongo who previously served as the Chief of Security and Unit Commander for the Prime Minister, said Geingob was full of humility, humbleness and mentored everyone around him.

‘It is very true that there is a lot that we have learnt from the late president… He also taught us the administration that we are running today… some of us during the time of the liberation struggle did not have the time to go and learn administration but he taught us,’ he noted.

Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa said Geingob identified him in 1994 to work in his private office as his senior special assis
tant, noting years later, he appointed to his office the likes of former justice minister, Sacky Shanghala; Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Executive Director, Audrin Mathe; late Kazenambo Kazenambo, Press Secretary Alfredo Hengari and many other young Namibians.

Simataa narrated that they were commonly known as the ‘Geingob kindergarten’ and a perception was that the then prime minister surrounded himself with kids without suitable support to discharge his constitutional responsibilities, however years later, this Geingob kindergarten produced national leaders who raised to Cabinet positions.

‘He is a man who is not selfish and who invited everyone from Zambezi to come join… all of us coming to one house. We continued to witness his belief in young people even during his presidency,’ Simataa noted.

Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Frans Kapofi who served as Secretary to Cabinet under Geingob’s administration noted that the late president was good at scouting and identifying le
adership talent that he would nurture and mentor to bring the best out of the individuals.

‘Having a mentor of comrade Geingob’s calibre was critical because during the time of the struggle not all of us had the opportunity to further our academic education, after independence while given administrative responsibility, comrade Geingob would be very vital in shaping my life in the civil service,’ he noted.

Geingob died at the age of 82 at a Windhoek hospital and his memorial service is scheduled for 24 February, to be followed by his burial on 25 February 2024.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

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