New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Replacing Deceased Governors No Easy Task - Pohamba

Rundu — Careful consideration will be required as President Hifikepunye Pohamba sets the wheels in motion to replace the recently deceased governors of the Kavango and Omaheke regions.

The necessity for such a course of action was reiterated by the president himself when he said development can only be attained once there is peace, hence filling the two vacant top regional political positions calls for careful consideration.

The unexpected demise of the two regional leaders - Maurus Nekaro (Kavango) at the beginning of March and Rapama Kamehozu (Omaheke) last Saturday - has prompted efforts to fill the positions they have left vacant.

Both regions are crucial for Namibia's food security with the Kavango Region home to seven green scheme projects and a National Fresh Produce Business Hub, while the Omaheke Region is the country's top beef producing region, most of it destined for lucrative overseas markets. Also referred to as the 'bread basket of the nation', the Kavango Region has been without a governor for the past three weeks following the death of Nekaro.

The 'cattle country' as the Omaheke Region is affectionately known now also faces the challenge of functioning without a political head after Rapama Kamehozu's death last Saturday. President Pohamba joined the nation in mourning Kamehozu and extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. The Office of the President has not indicated when the name of the successor to the late Nekaro will be announced.

Governors pay tribute

Oshikoto Governor Penda Ya Ndakolo described the late Kamehozu as a freedom fighter who was highly respected. "He was a resourceful person from whom we could always get input during our meetings as governors. The fact that he was appointed by the president, means that his departure is a loss not only to the Omaheke Region, but the entire nation," he said.

"I got to know the late governor during his time as the regional commissioner of Otjozondjupa," said the Oshikoto governor.

Oshana Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa said Kamehozu could have contributed to the development of the Omaheke Region. "He was just recently assigned there, but I know he could have continued where his predecessor had left off, but unfortunately things turned out this way. The late [Kamehozu] was an ever-social person whose input was always highly regarded during our meetings as governors," Kashuupulwa said.

Kashuupulwa extended his condolences on behalf of the Oshana Region to the bereaved family. Caprivi Regional Governor, Lawrence Sampofu, said along with late Maurus Nekaro and Oshikoto Governor, Penda Ya Ndakolo, Kamehozu was one the governors he liaised with a lot whenever he needed advice. "We were always in contact and he used to advise me where necessary. I knew him since our time together at the Development Brigade Corporation. He would always bring new ideas when it came to income-generating activities, because he was a fast thinker," said Sampofu.

During his time as Mayor of Grootfontein, he also contributed a lot to the development of the town, especially on the housing front, said the Caprivi Governor.

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