AIR Marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas has officially been installed as the new Chief of the Namibian Defence Force during a Change of Command Parade held in Windhoek.
President Hage Geingob officiated at the change of command and said the permanent appointment of Air Marshal Pinehas comes at a time when the Namibian Defence Force requires transformation and restructuring in line with the principle of inclusivity and ethos of nation building, so that it can become representative of the Namibian House.
“Therefore, by virtue of powers vested in me by the Namibian Constitution as President of the Republic of Namibia and Commander-In-Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, I hereby charge you with the constitutional responsibility to make provisions for a balanced structuring of the Defence Force; and to make suitable appointments of members under your command within the prescribed laws, policies, rules and procedures,” Dr. Geingob instructed the new Commander of the NDF when he took the reins from Lieutenant General John Sinvula Mutwa.
The President further instructed Air Marshal Pinehas to enforce discipline among members of the Defence Force and to ensure that the state resources placed under his command are efficiently managed and accounted for at all times.
The address of President Geingob at the Change of Command Parade reads as follows:
I am honoured to officiate at this noteworthy occasion, as we witness the Change of Command Parade, an important milestone in the history of our Namibia Defence Force and the nation at large. Today, we celebrate the continuity of leadership and a historic moment of transition, with the passing over of the torch of command, from one illustrious patriotic military leader to another.
As patriots, these are officers who have taken an oath to place national interest above personal gain. They exemplify the spirit of patriotism, aptly captured by Commandante Fidel Castro’s assertion that “None of us has any personal interest above the interests of the country. Our country is more important than our careers”.
Indeed, our military leaders have sacrificed much for our country and this is an opportunity to accord one such leader with a send-off befitting a patriot. The patriot I speak of is none other than Lieutenant General John Sinvula Mutwa, whose official retirement as Chief of Defence Force, I am announcing while administering the change of command, in order for Air Marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas to assume office as the 6th Chief of the Namibian Defence Force.
Upon assumption of my second term as President, I made several changes to the set-up of our Government, namely the appointment of Ministers and Officials as well as the merging of some Ministries and Departments for the purpose of streamlining and improving efficiency. These structural changes include the integration of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs into the Ministry of Defence, which previously resorted under the Presidency. I also made changes in the Defence Ministry to appoint a new Minister, Deputy Minister and Executive Director.
During this period, I have also appointed a new Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Martin Kambulu Pinehas, who will succeed General Mutwa who was officially retired from the service of the Namibia Defence Force in March 2020.
As a seed of the Kongwa Training Centre, General Mutwa was among the first Officer Cadets of SWAPO sent to Tanzania. He served the Peoples’ Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) in different capacities and portfolios.
At independence, General Mutwa was among those Namibian pioneers who established the Namibian Defence Force in 1990. As a career officer, he served as Army Commander, Chief of Staff in the headquarters; and as a diplomat.
During his tenure as Chief of Defence Force, we had a good rapport and I regard him as an individual who possesses a remarkable aptitude for military leadership.
It is in recognition of these qualities and his outstanding service to Namibia, that I express my gratitude and appreciation to General Mutwa for his contribution to the development of the Defence Force, as well as the advancement of our regional peace and security agenda. I wish him and his family peace, strength and good fortune on his retirement.
Air Marshal Pinehas, a former combatant in the Peoples’ Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), who received military and professional training in Cuba, Libya and the United States of America, took over as Acting Chief of the Defence Force in April 2019. During this time in office, he proved himself as an accomplished and astute leader, which ultimately gave me confidence to entrust him with the leadership of the Defence Force. I am confident that he is aptly qualified to be our next Chief of the Defence Force. With this in mind and in my capacity as the President of the Republic of Namibia and Commander-In-Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, by virtue of the powers vested in me by Article 32 (4) (c) (aa) and Article 116 (1) and (2) of the Namibian Constitution, I promoted Air Vice-Marshal Pinehas to Air Marshal and appointed him as Chief of the Defence Force effective from 1st April 2020.
Air Marshal Pinehas, the Symbol of Authority that will be handed over to you today, is a fundamental military tradition that symbolizes the formal transfer of delegated authority and responsibility to you to discharge command and control over the men and women of the Defence Force. This includes utilization of Defence resources placed under your control and stewardship.
Your appointment comes at a time when our Defence Force requires transformation and restructuring in line with the principle of inclusivity and ethos of nation building, so that it becomes representative of our Namibian House narrative.
Therefore, by virtue of powers vested in me by the Namibian Constitution as President of the Republic of Namibia and Commander-In-Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, I hereby charge you with the constitutional responsibility to make provisions for a balanced structuring of the Defence Force; and to make suitable appointments of members under your command within the prescribed laws, policies, rules and procedures.
You are to enforce discipline among members of the Defence Force and to ensure that the state resources placed under your command are efficiently managed and accounted for at all times.
In the midst of a changing global geopolitical environment, as well as limited economic resources, the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs must set the example of discipline, teamwork and nation building. You must perfect efficiency and effectiveness by learning how to do more with less.
I believe that you all share that understanding and moving forward, I want to see all of you pulling in one direction, exuding utmost patriotism, displaying peerless discipline and working tirelessly to defend our hard-earned Unity, Liberty and Justice.
In conclusion, let me once again express the confidence that I have in you, Air Marshal Pinehas, our new Chief of the Defence Force, to carry out your duties and responsibilities with vigour, determination, dedication, commitment and to be an excellent military leader among the men and women under your command.
I look forward to working with you; and I wish you strength, courage and wisdom in your new assignment.
May God bless you may God bless the Republic of Namibia.