World leaders will gather for President Geingob’s final farewell

Niël Terblanché

In a sincere display of international solidarity and respect, leaders from at least 27 countries are set to converge in Namibia for the final memorial and state funeral services of the late President Hage Geingob.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Emma Theofelus, announced that the ceremony will see an unprecedented gathering of 18 Heads of State, alongside Prime Ministers, Speakers, and Ambassadors at Large, reflecting the global impact of President Geingob’s legacy.

As the capital city braces for the influx of dignitaries, the government has issued a call to road users to observe traffic regulations, ensuring a smooth procession for the visiting delegations.

Notable figures, including the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, are expected to join the leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other African nations in paying their respects.

Despite a scheduling conflict with the ANC election manifesto launch on Saturday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed his attendance at the Sunday funeral service which is again an indication of the deep-rooted connections and mutual respect among African leaders.

More than 2,000 members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) are ready to participate in the memorial proceedings, including a military procession through Windhoek that will display the casket of the late President.

The procession will provide a moment for Namibians to bid a final, solemn farewell to their leader, whose remains will be escorted along a specially designated route for the public to pay their respects.

Angola’s offer to contribute military assets for a fly-past further exemplified the regional support and honour accorded to President Geingob.

According to Theofelus, musical Tribute later today will celebrate Geingob’s known affection for local music and culture, showcasing his legacy as the ‘People’s President.’

This event promises to be a heartfelt homage to his life and contributions, with free public access to foster community participation.

Theofelus said that the official memorial service, scheduled for Saturday at Independence Stadium, and the subsequent burial at Heroes Acre, will not only serve as a platform for international tributes but also as a communal space for Namibians to remember their leader’s dedication to the nation’s liberation and independence.

The declaration of a public holiday on the day of the burial by President Nangolo Mbumba stresses the significance of this moment in Namibia’s history.

As Namibia and the world prepare to say their final goodbyes, the detailed arrangements, including transport and public participation guidelines, reflect a nation’s effort to honour a figure who shaped its destiny.

This gathering of global leaders and the public alike marks a touching chapter in the story of a nation united in mourning yet celebrating a legacy that transcends borders.

Theofelus stated that the Namibian Government is committed to transparency and public engagement throughout the period of deep mourning.

The minister added that the proceedings are aimed at celebrating the enduring spirit of unity and respect that President Geingob championed and is a lasting testament to the impact of his life and work.

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