7 April 2010

Namibia: Reshuffle of Ambassadors, PSEs in Pipeline

PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba is said to be planning to recall ambassadors and appoint new ones to represent Namibia abroad.

It is believed that some senior Swapo cadres have been called to State House to be informed of the new developments, while some at Foreign Affairs are concerned with Namibia's foreign missions being used as a "dumping ground" for failed politicians and unwanted senior civil servants.

Some at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs say the system does not offer career diplomats an opportunity to develop, since they always have to make way for political appointees.

Former Gender Minister Marlene Mungunda is said to be earmarked for appointment as Namibia's representative in the United Kingdom.

Agriculture Permanent Secretary Andrew Ndishishi, Veterans' Affairs PS William Amagulu, Works PS George Simataa and National Planning Commission PS Mocks Shivute are being considered for possible diplomatic postings.

Former Deputy Executive Director in the Office of the President Monica Nashandi has also been mentioned as a possible diplomatic posting.

Nashandi is not new to the diplomatic world, as she has served as Namibia's ambassador to the UK. Amagulu has also headed several foreign missions.

Foreign Affairs PS Veiccoh Nghiwete's name was also mentioned but it seems he could stay in his position.

The new development could be linked to media reports stating that the Secretary to Cabinet had asked all permanent secretaries to submit their curriculum vitae to his office.

This is linked to rumours circulating that after some PSes have been given diplomatic postings, the remaining ones will be reshuffled. Some of them are said to face the boot.

Sources said Namibia's ambassador to the United States, Patrick Nandago, was set to join State House but not as chief of protocol. He will most likely replace Ndali Che Kamati as the Executive Director in the Office of the President.

Pinehas Aluteni, first secretary at Namibia's United Nations mission in New York, will be roped in to assist and advise the newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, Utoni Nujoma. Aluteni, who holds a master's degree in diplomacy from the Lancaster University (UK), has experience as a diplomat and is expected to guide the minister.

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