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By: Selma Taapopi

As Namibia observed the 34th anniversary of the adoption of the Namibian Constitution today, Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, reflected on the complex journey of constructing the country’s Constitution, of which the late Hage Geingob was a central figure. 

Katjivivi made the remarks during the memorial service held in honor of Geingob at Namcor yesterday.

Katjavivi, who shares a birthday with the late Geingob, was addressing the staff and management of Namcor when he took them down memory lane of how the country’s constitution was first developed. 

Katjavivi recalled how the late Geingob managed the Constitution drafting committee and addressed key milestones that were reflected at the time of writing the Constitution.

“ There was an issue about the recognition of the fact that many of our people were punished through capital punishment, by hanging and therefore the issue came up during the drafting of the Constitution. What do we do with this particular issue! Do we do away with capital punishment or is it going to be retained in the Constitution. The overwhelming view of the time is that we have to do away with capital punishment,”recalled Katjavivi.

In addition, speaking during a candlelight vigil in honour of Geingob today at Parliament, Dr. Kaire Mbuende, who was a member of the constituent assembly that the late Geingob chaired, stated that it took a diplomatic approach to bring divergent views that had different perspectives.

Mbuende added that it also took political goodwill, and the late Geingob went out of his way to accommodate all ideas of the members of the constituent assembly.

Newly sworn-in President Nangolo Mbumba in a statement noted that in celebration of Constitution Day, Namibians should be proud of the peaceful and stable country. He added that the late Geingob as chairperson of the constituent assembly, is the chief architect of the Constitution which is a living document that has been a guidepost to the smooth transition of power the country witnessed. 

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