5 December 2012

Namibia: Analysts Impressed With Cabinet Redeployment

Windhoek — Political commentators and analysts have welcomed the Cabinet reshuffle, which is President Hifikepunye Pohamba's first major Cabinet reshuffle, saying it is underpinned by logic and that the changes are long overdue.

The Executive Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and political commentator, Graham Hopwood, says the reshuffle is logical seeing that experienced members would apply their expertise in their new portfolios.

Hopwood points at the redeployment of Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Utoni Nujoma to the Ministry of Justice as logical appointments.

Nandi-Ndaitwah has the relevant experience as a former foreign affairs deputy minister, while Nujoma is a lawyer by training, said Hopwood.

Hopwood was not sure about the redeployment of Prime Minister Nahas Angula to the Ministry of Defence, a post that until now has never been occupied by a non-military person. "Angula is known as an education expert, however it is not bad to have a civilian in charge of defence," said Hopwood, who expressed reservations about moving Rt Major General Charles Namoloh to the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

"Calle Schlettwein's redeployment from being Deputy Minister of Finance to Minister of Trade and Industry is relevant given his financial expertise," said Hopwood. The University of Namibia's Dr Hoze Riruako said moving Dr Hage Geingob back to his first job of Prime Minister would allow him to put his considerable administrative skills to good use. Riruako points back to the era when Geingob was the country's first prime minister.

"Geingob is a shrewd administrator with the requisite skills and has academic qualifications as a PhD holder in public administration," explained Riruako, adding that this is an opportune time for Geingob to use his experience and skills to full advantage.

Riruako hopes that moving Geingob back to the Office of the Prime Minister could shape up the country's public administration, and ensure that the country implements policy decisions such as on decentralisation and the performance management systems that were taken in the early 1990s.

"Namibia has failed to put in place monitoring instruments to gauge the effectiveness of policy decisions," said Riruako, adding that Geingob should put in place implementation, monitoring and evaluation systems to be rolled out throughout all government ministries and see to it that strategic plans are fully implemented.

Pohamba said he decided to redeploy and appoint new members to Cabinet to ensure that Cabinet adopts the Swapo Party Congress resolutions speedily, as government programmes that require implementation without delay.

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