He was not the Geingob I knew when I visited him in his last days – Kapofi

Stefanus Nashama

Frans Kapofi, the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, says he was shaken and distressed when he visited President Hage Geingob in his last days because the Head of State was not the comrade he had known for years.

“In his last days, I had the privilege to visit him and we spent about two hours discussing all sorts of things while watching his favourite sport, football. When I left, I was a bit shaken because this was not the comrade Geingob I had gotten to know,” said Kapofi.

The minister was speaking at the memorial service of the late Geingob held on Tuesday, in Windhoek.

It was distressing to see him go through so much agony, stated Kapofi.

While highlighting things he noted upon visiting the late Head of State, Kapofi said over the years, he had gotten used to Geingob’s imposing personality, jovial nature and him being the go-to leader whenever he needed counsel.

“I remember in the early years of independence when I was redeployed from the Ministry of Defence, where I was a Permanent Secretary, to the newly established Ministry of Prisons. I was not thrilled by this change and as such, I sought his wise counsel,” he recalled.

Kapofi described Geingob as a selfless leader who touched the lives of many in almost a similar fashion. This, he said, is because he never discriminated against anyone.

He said his political and professional life with Geingob counts to 44 years.

The late Geingob was the person I consulted when I needed advice. He once told me to take up the challenge, Kapofi recounted.

Turning to the political journey with the late Geingob, Kapofi recalled how the late helped shape the administration of Namibia.

“As many called him, Omes was not only strongly built and tall, but he was of towering stature in many disciplines too. Some of us who had worked very closely with him knew that his ascendance to the highest office in the land was inevitable,” stressed the Minister.

At the same time, Kapofi told the mourners, that as a strategist, Geingob championed the cause of good governance, transparency and accountability.

This includes many initiatives he brought forward, for the development of the Namibian nation, he added.

The Minister consoled the widow, children and the entire bereaved family, saying they are not mourning alone.

Kapofi said that Namibia has lost a patriot who loved his country and its people dearly, adding that his empathy was beyond measure.

“As we bid farewell to a strategist, an architect, and a leader with foresight, let us carry forward his vision of a prosperous, inclusive Namibia,” he concluded.

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