Hage Geingob, president of Namibia, passed away early Sunday morning in a hospital in Windhoek, according to a statement from the presidential office.
Last month, Geingob, who was in his second term as president, disclosed that he was undergoing cancer treatment.
“I regret to inform you that our esteemed President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage G. Geingob, passed away today,” read the statement signed by acting president Nangolo Mbumba and published on X, formerly Twitter.
“His children and cherished wife, Madame Monica Geingos, were by his side.”
In January, “cancerous cells” were identified in a biopsy performed subsequent to a routine medical examination, Geingob’s office reported at the time.
Geingob assumed the presidency of Namibia in 2014, making him the country’s third and longest-serving prime minister.
Geingob underwent cerebral surgery in 2013 and an aortic operation in the neighboring country of South Africa the year prior.
He had been undergoing medical treatment at Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek until his demise.
Mbumba remarked, “The Namibian people have lost a distinguished servant of the people, an icon of the liberation struggle, the primary architect of our constitution, and a pillar of the Namibian household.”
“Amidst this profound anguish, I urge the entire nation to maintain composure and tranquility while the government attends to all requisite state preparations, arrangements, and protocols.”
He declared that an imminent Cabinet meeting would be held to establish the required state arrangements.
Geingob, who was born in 1941 in a village located in the northern region of Namibia, assumed the presidency of the first non-Ovambo national in this southern African nation, where the Ovambo ethnic group comprises over half of the populace.
From his early school years until he was exiled, he engaged in activism against the apartheid regime of South Africa, which governed Namibia at the time.
After departing Botswana in 1964 for the United States, he resided in both countries for nearly three decades.
By year’s end, Namibia is scheduled to conduct presidential and national assembly elections.