Geingob to attend Nujoma’s 89th birthday party

11 May 2018 Author   Sonja Smith

For the first time since becoming president in March 2015, Hage Geingob is expected to lead a high-powered government delegation to Okahao in the Omusati Region, where the Founding President and anti-apartheid struggle icon, Dr Sam Nujoma’s 89th birthday celebrations will take place this weekend.

 

Geingob appears to have left Nujoma high and dry on three occasions since 2015 when he became the country’s third president after independence in 1990.

Just two months after he was sworn into office, Geingob decided to fly to a funeral in Oshakati at the eleventh hour rather than attend the 12 May Movement celebrations in Otjiwarongo.

In 2016, there was no one from government to congratulate Nujoma on the occasion of his 87th birthday, with Geingob choosing instead to attend First Lady, Monica Geingos’ launch of her One Economy Foundation.

Last year, only former SWAPO Secretary General, Nangolo Mbumba, showed up and conveyed congratulatory messages to Nujoma on behalf of the ruling party.

However, Nujoma Personal Assistant, John Nauta, told the Windhoek Observer on Wednesday that Geingob has already confirmed his attendance at this year’s festivities.

 “President Hage Geingob has confirmed his attendance, as well as two Angolan governors of Cuando Cubango and Cunene provinces, Pedro Mutinde and Kundi Paihama,” Nauta said.

State House Press Secretary, Dr Alfredo Hengari, also told the Windhoek Observer that the president will deliver a message at the celebrations.

“It is indeed correct that the president will attend the Founding Father, Dr Sam Nujoma’s 89th birthday celebrations,” Dr Hengari said.

SWAPO Deputy Secretary General, Marco Hausiku and former home affairs minister, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, will be the Directors of Ceremonies.

According to the programme seen by the Windhoek Observer, Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Vice President, Nangolo Mbumba, are also set to attend the two-day festivities while SWAPO Secretary General, Sophia Shaningwa, is expected to deliver a message on behalf of the ruling party.

Nujoma’s birthday has been celebrated annually under the auspices of the 12 May Movement since 2012.

The 12 May Movement was initiated by the SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) under the then leadership of Dr Elijah Ngurare and was sanctioned by the party to be an annual event to celebrate Nujoma’s legacy.

The birthday celebrations will be held this year under the theme: “Building the future through unity and solidarity.”

The celebrations are being organised by the Sam Nujoma Foundation Trust in conjunction with the business fraternity.

Nujoma was born on 12 May 1929 at Etunda village to Helvi Mpingana Kondombolo and Daniel Nujoma.

The eldest of his parents’ 11 children, Nujoma spent his early childhood looking after his siblings and tending to the family’s cattle and traditional farming activities.

His father died in 1968 while his mother died in 2008.

Nujoma led Namibia’s liberation struggle from apartheid South Africa, represented the freedom struggle worldwide and became the founding president and living icon of a free Namibia.

During the nation’s formative years when he served as president, he laid a solid foundation for the country’s development.

Kwaito sensation Gazza, the Ndilimani Cultural Group and gospel musician D-naff are among the many artists who are set to entertain the crowd at the Nujoma birthday celebrations, according to Nauta.

Celebrations start this Friday with Eehungi, which will begin at 15h00.

 

WINDHOEK OBSERVER

The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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