Geingob was a fierce debater and a master negotiator – Venaani

Stefanus Nashama

Popular Democratic Movement leader, McHenry Venaani has described the late President Hage Geingob as a unifying force whose influence inspired the Namibian nation with hope.

“Namibia is better for his presence among us. The world is smaller for his departure, and we will remember him, as he was unwavering and towering. We will remember his husky voice, his jovial smile, and his laugh. We will remember his composure. We will remember that he brought a sense of calm to an office ever so serious,” Venaani said.

Speaking at Geingob’s funeral, Venaani told mourners that Geingob was a leader, and a unifying force in the history of the Namibian nation, a fierce debater and master negotiator.

“Death has no shame, we have been robbed of one of the brightest minds, not just of our generation but also in our history. We have been gripped by a loss that affects every household in this great Republic,” he said.

He also praised Geingobfor his deft negotiations on the international stage are a testament to his enduring impact on the Namibian nation.

Venaani said Geingob’s skilful diplomacy and adept negotiation strategies were instrumental in navigating some of the complexities of the nation’s history.

This, he said, includes his critique of Germany’s support for Israel’s attacks in Gaza.

“It exemplified his unyielding commitment to moral principles,” he added.

According to Venaani, Geingob was a political force, engaging even his fiercest rivals with a recognition of patriotism and humanity.

Venaani who was amongst the pallbearers selected for the funeral, said the late President’s actions, like those of Odysseus, transcend the immediate present, his legacy shines as a constellation, a guiding light that has shaped the fabric of Namibian identity.

President Geingob’s dedication to the nation-building project remains etched in our collective memory, he mentioned.

At the same time, Venaani touched on the political rivalry with Geingob, telling mourners, that Geingob could be certainly difficult at times yet he found common ground for collaboration.

“This camaraderie extended beyond political boundaries, exemplifying the spirit of unity despite ideological differences. Our friendship, born from mutual respect and a shared commitment to the nation’s welfare, transcended political variances,” he emphasised.

Despite political differences, Venaani revealed he had always held the views he shared with Geingob, on a common vision of a better Namibia.

He reflected on some of the achievements the late Geingob had made. This includes gender-aware policy, which he said stands out as a shining example of progress, elevating Namibia to a position of prominence.

As we bid the President farewell, we simultaneously celebrate a life lived to the full, he added.

Venaani further reflected on Geingob’s values, citing his commitments to public service and dedication to the well-being of the Namibian nation.

To him, such commitments served as beacons guiding the Namibian nation through adversity.

He called on Namibians to carry forward the legacy of Geingob with the values he championed.

“Unity, compassion, and commitment to the greater good must guide our actions as we navigate the future of our beloved country. In times of tribulation, a nation’s strength is tested, and we can honour President Geingob’s memory by fostering unity and solidarity,” said Venaani.

He urged the nation to set aside differences for the greater good of the country.

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