Namibian President Hage Geingob has died at the age of 82, barely three weeks after his office announced that he would undergo treatment for cancer.
Geingob, surrounded by his family, died on Sunday, February 4, at Lady Pohamba Hospital in the capital Windhoek, as disclosed by acting president Nangolo Mbumba in a statement posted on Geingob’s official Facebook page.
“The Namibian nation has lost a distinguished servant of the people, a liberation struggle icon, the chief architect of our constitution, and the pillar of the Namibian house,” Mbumba stated.
He said further details on funeral arrangements and state protocols are underway, urging “the nation to remain calm and collected.”
Geingob’s office announced last month that he had begun treatment following the discovery of “cancerous cells” during a routine colonoscopy and gastroscopy.
However, the statement said the octogenarian would continue to carry out his presidential duties.
The office later announced that the late African leader would travel to the United States for medical care and would return to Namibia on February 2.
Geingob, who also served a 12-year stint as prime minister, had a history of health problems that preceded his election as Namibia’s third president in 2014.
In 2013, he underwent brain surgery, and the following year he revealed that he had survived prostate cancer.
Last year, Geingob announced again that he had undergone aortic surgery in neighbouring South Africa.
Namibia, a former German colony that gained independence from South Africa in 1990, is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in November.
The ruling SWAPO Party’s presidential candidate, Nandi-Ndaitwah, would be the country’s first female head of state if elected.