VP and wife contract Covid-19

The vice-president and his wife, who are both asymptomatic, attended President Geingob's birthday party on August 3 but do not believe they caught the virus at that gathering.

24 August 2020 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Vice-president Nangolo Mbumba and his wife Susitjie have tested positive for Covid-19, amid talk that the couple had attended President Hage Geingob's birthday party at his private residence on 3 August.

The vice-president, who turned 79 on August 15, confirmed to Namibian Sun yesterday that he had tested positive for the virus, but swiftly moved to dismiss assertions he might have contracted the virus at the birthday party.





He said he had attended many events in recent weeks, including a funeral, and thus cannot pinpoint where he might have contracted the virus.



Birthday party

Namibian Sun has it on good authority that 31 people attended the birthday party, including the late Jeff Mbako, President Geingob's former special advisor on community affairs, who died last week in a Windhoek hospital.

Officials say Mbako – who was advisor to Geingob between 2015 and 2018 – died from Covid-19 related symptoms. His remains were cremated last week..

Yesterday, health minister Kalumbi Shangula said both Mbumba and his wife were asymptomatic and in a “very, very good” condition.

“Yes, he [Mbumba] tested positive and is in a very, very good condition. He is asymptomatic. Yes, his wife also tested positive and is also in a very, very good condition. They are about to conclude their 14-day isolation period,” he said.

According to sources close to State House, Mbumba is the third guest from the Geingob birthday party to test positive, in addition to his wife and Mbako.

The birthday party took place on 3 August at Geingob's private ranch, named Casa Rosalia, outside Windhoek. “You see, this disease can be contracted by any person and at any occasion,” the VP said.

“I have attended a number of events during this time including a funeral where I was delegated, so it would be difficult to say where I contracted it from.”



Other cases

Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa, who tested positive for Covid-19 recently, said he did not attend the Geingob birthday party.

“I was never at the party and I was never invited to the party,” he said yesterday.

Simataa in fact said he has recovered from the virus after his latest test results came out negative.

Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah went into self-isolation recently, after they had come into contact with an infected person. It is not clear whether the two have been cleared in the meantime.

State House advisor Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi recently tested positive for the virus, according to a statement by the presidency. She had not attended the president's birthday party, according to available information.

Presidential press secretary Alfredo Hengari had not responded to questions sent to him by the time of going to print last night.

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