PRESIDENT Hage Geingob’s determination to tighten his grip on rogue elements within the government has lead to the redeployment of key members of the Cabinet to ministries that are beleaguered by corruption and maladministration.
The shakeup comes after several warnings to get their house in order were issued by Geingob.
The Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, have fallen into controversy and will henceforth fall under the strong leadership of Frans Kapofi and Derek Klazen, respectively.
Albert Kawana has been shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security in order to strengthen it further.
The shakeup of Cabinet is also aimed at expediting the implementation of national development plans as set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan II.
According to a statement issued by the Namibian Presidency the redeployment and new appointments to the Cabinet were done in accordance with Article 32 (3)(i)(dd) of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia.
In this regard, Geingob appointed Kapofi as the new Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs and stated that it will be expected from him to coordinate and administer the operations of the Ministry and the Namibian Defense Force (NDF), to defend the territorial integrity and national interests of Namibia and assist veterans and dependents of deceased veterans through funding, administering and managing the welfare of veterans and dependents.
“The Minister is further expected to guarantee our country’s sovereignty, ensure the readiness and professionalism of the armed forces. The Minister is also expected to strengthen the capabilities of the NDF and to improve working and living infrastructure for defence personnel. As a key deliverable, the Minister is expected for the term, to complete institutional reforms of line Agencies under the Ministry (i.e. August 26 Holdings) and to ensure smooth integration of the Department of Veterans Affairs into the Ministry of Defence,” the statement reads.
The President appointed Dr. Kawana as the new Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, and said he will be presiding over the National Population Register (birth, marriages, death, and national identification documents), the Minister is expected to facilitate lawful migration into the country; receive and protect refugees and asylum seekers. The Minister is further expected to ensure internal security, maintain law and order and protect society by providing safe custody of offenders while assisting them with rehabilitation and social re-integration.
Klazen was promoted and appointed as the new Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources and it will be expected of him to oversee the management, protection, and utilization of marine resources on land, rivers, and in the ocean; conservation and utilization of marine resources to realize maximum and sustainable benefit for all Namibians; accelerate the implementation of the Namibianisation Score-Card to achieve greater involvement, participation, and benefits for Namibians.
The Minister is further expected to harness the economic value of the ocean in an environmentally sustainable manner and promote the Blue Economy through integrated development of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.
“As a key deliverable during the term, the Minister is expected to revitalize and promote the growth of the Aquaculture and Mariculture industry and implement a blue economy within an appropriate regulatory framework,” the statement reads.
President Geingob appointed Veno Kauaria as the new Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training, and Innovation.
According to the statement, it will be expected from the Deputy Minister to assist the Minister in promoting training and innovation to drive Namibia towards a knowledge economy, through quality Higher, Technical & Vocational Education, Research and Development and to create a conducive environment for technological and scientific innovations.
As a key deliverable during the term, the Deputy Minister is expected to assist the Minister in concluding the NSFAF Sustainability Model; Establish Industry Governance Committees for a demand-driven education system; Formulate the National 4th Industrial Revolution Policy; Develop Innovation Framework & Value chains; Deliver Innovation Incubators through Industry/Academia partnership; Formulate National Internship/Cooperative Education Framework (in collaboration with MLIREC) and convene a National dialogue on Bio-Economy & Policy formulation.
Natalia /Goagoses was appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development and it will be expected from her to assist the Minister to coordinate decentralization, regional and rural development activities to ensure sustainable livelihoods for citizens in peri-urban and rural areas through the provision of decent shelter and sanitation.
The Deputy Minister is further expected to assist the Minister in the development of policies in collaboration with stakeholders and programmes to mitigate rural-urban migration and to ensure appropriate town planning and land use management. The Deputy Minister is also expected to assist the Minister in implementing comprehensive policies and programmes aimed at accelerating access to land in urban areas for housing infrastructure and industrial development.
In line with applicable legislation, it is expected of the Deputy Minister to assist the Minister to facilitate the recognition of traditional community leaders and ensure compliance with the law. The Deputy Minister is expected to assist the Minister in expediting the upgrade of Informal Settlements and to complete and hand-over houses built through the National Mass Housing Programme; Roll-out Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (WASH) nationally, repurpose and recapitalize National Housing Enterprises (NHE).
President Geingob appointed Heather Sibungo as the new Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism and it will be expected from her to assist the Minister in promoting biodiversity conservation of the environment through sustainable utilization of natural resources, including forestry.
The Deputy Minister is also expected to assist the Minister in developing policies and strategies for sustainable and responsible tourism that contributes to the economic development of Namibia and the quality of life of all her people.
The Deputy Minister is further expected to assist the Minister in ensuring that Namibia makes significant progress towards its Green House Gas emission targets by 2030 through the transformation of production processes and consumption patterns of natural resources.
The Deputy Minister is also expected to assist the Minister to fast-track the implementation of the 2011 National Policy on Climate Change and to develop a National Green Economy Policy to unlock economic opportunities through the New Green Economy 2030 Project.
Maureen Hinda-Mbuende was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Finance and it will be expected from her to assist the Minister in managing Government financial resources, implementation of financial policies, and preparation of the annual fiscal budget, and issue adequate regulations for its execution.
The Deputy Minister is further expected to assist the Minister to decongest the Central Procurement Board to improve efficiencies and to spearhead the development of an Economic Recovery Plan.
The Deputy Minister is also expected to assist the Minister in expediting VAT refunds within the cycle, commission the National Sovereign Wealth Fund (welfare and reserve), Leverage Public Assets to generate revenue (SOEs and Public Property Portfolio), and develop/review the Public Asset Register and Policy to guide public asset disposal. In addition, the Deputy Minister is expected to assist the Minister in aligning taxation policies with climate change objectives.
According to the statement, the changes in the Namibian Government have been necessitated by recent developments in the country and the need to scale up implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan II, the National Development Plans, including improved service delivery to the Namibian people.
President Hage Geingob wished the Ministers and Deputy Ministers well in the execution of their respective mandates.