Namibia: Geingob Gives Andjaba Education Portfolio

President Hage Geingob has appointed presidential affairs minister Martin Andjaba as acting minister of education, arts and culture.

In a statement issued by presidential press secretary Alfredo Hengari yesterday afternoon, Geingob explained that with only seven months before the end of the government's term, a permanent minister will not be appointed for the post.

Andjaba's appointment follows the resignation, as minister of education, on Tuesday afternoon by Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who was convicted of corruption on Monday.

Hanse-Himarwa resigned after being found guilty in the High Court for corruptly using her former office as governor of the Hardap region for self-gratification.

In addition to the short duration remaining in the government's term, Geingob also attributed the decision to appoint an acting minister rather than a substantive one as abiding by the Namibian Constitution, "coupled with the rights of Hanse-Himarwa under Article 47(2)(a)".

This article states that "no person shall be considered as having been convicted by any court until any appeal which might have been noted against the conviction or sentence has been determined, or the time for noting an appeal against such conviction has expired."

Hanse-Himarwa is expected to return to court on 24 July for the start of a presentence hearing, and remains free on a warning from the court until then.

Andjaba will assume all statutory functions as acting education minister, with current deputy minister Anna Nghipondoka remaining his deputy.

He was Namibia's ambassador to the United States before being appointed presidential affairs minister in April last year.

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