Bid government reshuffle after SWAPO Congress
One day after the SWAPO Congress elected Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob SWAPO Vice-President, President Hifikepunye Pohamba announced one of the biggest Cabinet reshuffles the country has seen since independence.
Prime Minister Nahas Angula who received the highest votes in the Central Committee at the Congress, was demoted to the post of Minister of Defence and replaced by Geingob.
Out of 24 ministers, including the prime minister, his deputy and the director general of the National Planning Commission, 12 were redeployed in one of the biggest Cabinet reshuffles the country has seen since independence.
Pohamba made the announcement at State House yesterday where he summoned most of the ministers and revealed his revamped Cabinet that did not include outspoken former Youth Minster Kazenambo Kazenambo.
For Geingob, it’s a change of fortunes 12 years after being pushed out as prime minister by former President Sam Nujoma.
Geingob told The Namibian after the announcement that he felt “great and honoured” following his re-election as party vice president over the weekend. “I would like to pay tribute to the former prime minister. He did an excellent job. We will sit and talk about where he left,” Geingob added.
The Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development will be without Jerry Ekandjo, who is moving to the Ministry of Youth and Sport. Charles Namoloh is replacing Ekandjo. Ekandjo replaces Kazenambo, who has been stripped of his portfolio as minister of youth.
Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana moves to the Ministry of Home Affairs while former Minister Rosalia Nghidinwa goes to Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
Immanuel Ngatjizeko goes to Safety and Security to replace the newly elected secretary general of the Swapo Party, Nangolo Mbumba, who will serve the party full time.
Calle Schlettwein, who served as deputy minister of finance, has been moved up to become the minister of trade and industry, replacing Geingob. Schlettwein’s position at Finance remains vacant and it is believed that the government wants to appoint a person with the required technical skills to the post.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who was at Environment and Tourism, moves back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she served for years as deputy minister, replacing Utoni Nujoma.
The young Nujoma has been reassigned to the Ministry of Justice.
Former Gender Minster Doreen Sioka is now the minister of labour and social welfare in the place of Ngatjizeko, who moved to Safety and Security.
Another deputy minister was also promoted to the full rank of the minister. Uahekua Herunga was promoted from deputy minister of environment to head the ministry.
A number of deputy ministers were reshuffled, but no one lost his or her job.
Petrus Ilonga and Lempy Lukas will be swopping places at Agriculture and Defence.
Pohamba Shifeta, who was at the Ministry of Youth, becomes Herunga’s deputy at Environment.
Kilus Nguvauva has been redeployed to the Ministry of Works and Transport from the Ministry of Fisheries. He is swapping places with Chief Samuel Ankama.
Pohamba also announced the redeployment of some regional governors.
Laura McLeod-Katjirua, who was elected the deputy secretary general of Swapo at the weekend congress, has been appointed as governor of the Khomas Region and will be replaced by Otjozondjupa Governor Rapama Kamehozu in the Omaheke Region.
Samuel Nuuyoma made space for McLeod-Katjirua as the governor of the Khomas Region and will fill the post left vacant by Kamehozu.
The latest reshuffle is seen as a move by Pohamba to prepare for the transformation process that will pave the way for Geingob if he wins the country’s presidency in 2015.
Noticeable proof is that ministers that were campaigning for Geingob to be re-elected as vice president of the party were moved to key ministries.
Namoloh, Schlettwein and Ndaitwah all publicly supported Geingob.
(The Namibian, Windhoek)