5 December 2012

Namibia: Cabinet Redeployed 'Congress Made Changes Imperative'

Windhoek — President Hifikepunye Pohamba yesterday reshuffled 12 Cabinet ministers, redeploying Dr Hage Geingob to the senior post of Prime Minister and moving Nahas Angula to the Ministry of Defence.

The reshuffle, which came as a complete surprise barely two days following the ruling party's watershed 5th Congress, elevated two deputy ministers to full Cabinet positions and promoted the vibrant Swapo Party backbencher Juliet Kavetuna to Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture. She deputises Jerry Ekandjo in that portfolio previously held by outspoken and often controversial Kazenambo Kazenambo.

Pohamba said the "outcome of the congress has necessitated the redeployment of some of the political personnel as well as to bring in new ones." Kazenambo Kazenambo no longer holds a ministerial portfolio. He nevertheless remains a Member of Parliament as Swapo Party backbencher and member of the party's Central Committee, the all-powerful decision making body of the ruling party. He is number 30 on the new list from the just ended congress.

Calle Schlettwein, the former deputy finance minister, now occupies a senior Cabinet portfolio as Minister of Trade and Industry, while Uahekua Herunga is the new Minister of Environment and Tourism. Former military man, Rt Major-General Charles Namoloh is now the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, while Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana now heads the Ministry of Home Affairs, with Utoni Nujoma taking over as Minister of Justice. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is as from today the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Immanuel Ngatjizeko took over as the Minister of Safety and Security, to allow Nangolo Mbumba to concentrate on his full-time duties as the party's Secretary General, in accordance with a congress resolution and his own pledge before the congress. Doreen Sioka moves over to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, while Rosalia Nghidinwa is now the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.

"I have taken this decision with the full conviction that our nation is founded on the principles of the rule of law and democracy. It is for this reason that we have adopted the Namibian Constitution as the supreme law of the land," the President said when making the announcement at State House yesterday morning. Pohamba said he is determined to ensure that Cabinet speedily adopts the congress resolutions as government programmes which require speedy implementation.

Former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Petrus Iilonga, swapped his position with Lempy Lucas.

Iilonga now deputises Nahas Angula at the defence ministry. Pohamba Shifeta is now the Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism. Chief Samuel Ankama has been appointed the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resource, while Kilus Nguvauva is the new Deputy Minister of Works and Transport.

Pohamba appealed for unity, peace and stability and called for hard work and an inclusive government where all citizens can play a meaningful role as the country forges ahead towards Vision 2030.

"We must continue to reject the vices of tribalism, nepotism, regionalism, racism, sexism and corruption," he urged his team.

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