Namibia turns new chapter

By Maggie Forcelledo Paz

Testament to the resilience and forward-looking nature of Namibia’s political landscape, Namibia experienced a seamless and dignified transfer of power, underscoring the country’s commitment to stability and governance. This follows the sad and unfortunate passing of His Excellency President Hage Gottfried Geingob on Sunday, 4 February 2024 at the age of 82. Article 29 and Article 34 of the Namibian Constitution state that:

Article 29

(4) If a President dies, resigns or is removed from office in terms of this Constitution, the vacant office of President shall be filled for the unexpired period thereof as follows:

(a) if the vacancy occurs not more than one (1) year before the date on which Presidential elections are required to be held, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Article 34 hereof;

(b) if the vacancy occurs more than one (1) year before the date on which Presidential elections are required to be held, an election for the President shall be held in accordance with the provisions of Article 28 hereof within a period of ninety (90) days from the date on which the vacancy occurred, and pending such election the vacant office shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Article 34 hereof.

Article 34

(1) If the office of President becomes vacant or if the President is otherwise unable to fulfil the duties of the office, the following persons shall in the order provided for in this Sub- Article act as President for the unexpired portion of the President’s term of office or until the President is able to resume office, whichever is the earlier:

(a) the Vice President;

(b) the Prime Minister;

(c) the Deputy Prime Minister; and

(d) a person appointed by the President from the members of Cabinet in terms of Sub- Article (2).

The seamless transition of power to former Vice President, Honourable Nangolo Mbumba as the new president of the Republic of Namibia and to former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as the new vice president, showcases Namibia’s resilience in the face of adversity. It sends a powerful message to the international community about the country’s unwavering commitment to democracy, peace and sustainable development. 

This transition not only exemplifies the robustness of Namibia’s institutions but also reflects the trust and confidence placed in the new president and vice president, solidifying the nation’s commitment to experienced leadership and the continuation of a vision for a prosperous, inclusive and forward-moving Namibia.

Elections 2024

His Excellency President Nangolo Mbumba will serve out the remainder of the late president’s term which expires on 21 March 2025. Mbumba has announced that he has no plans to run for president.

In his acceptance speech as the new president of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency Mbumba said, “I take on this heavy mantle, cognisant of the weight of this responsibility, to serve all the people of the Republic of Namibia with utmost dedication and commitment, in the service of all citizens of the Namibian House. I undertake to continue building on the excellent foundation established by the founding father, Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, the former president, Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba, and our beloved president, Dr Hage G. Geingob. May his soul rest in peace.”

As the late President Geingob was ineligible for re-election after having served two consecutive terms as the president of the Republic of Namibia, he selected the former Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah to run for president as a candidate of the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) party, of which she is also vice president. If she wins the election, she would be the first female president of Namibia.

Accepting her role as the new vice president, Honourable Nandi-Ndaitwah said, “We should uphold his legacy by following in his footsteps and appreciate the work he did for us during the struggle and after Namibia’s independence.”

General elections are due to be held in Namibia in November 2024. As Namibia turns to this new chapter, the foundation is laid for a leadership that is not only capable of navigating the challenges ahead but also committed to harnessing opportunities for growth, unity and prosperity, reaffirming the nation’s adherence to constitutional protocols.

We congratulate His Excellency President Nangolo Mbumba and Honourable Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on their new roles. May their tenure be marked by wisdom, integrity and unwavering dedication to the people of Namibia. We wish them success in leading the nation towards a future filled with prosperity, peace and continued democratic governance.

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