PRESIDENT Hage Geingob today accepted the resignation of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, following the guilty verdict yesterday on charges of corruptly using her office or position to obtain gratification. The charge emanates from her actions during her tenure as Governor of the Hardap Region in 2014.
According to a statement released by State House President Geingob always advocates for processes, systems and institutions in the Namibian Governance architecture. With the guilty verdict by the High Court of the Republic of Namibia, and in line with the expressed commitment by President Geingob to transparency and the fight against corruption, the Head of State would have been left with no option but to relieve Katrina Hanse-Himarwa of her Ministerial responsibilities. It is in this light that President Geingob accepts the resignation of Katrina Hanse-Himarwa as Minister of Education, Arts and Culture.
President Geingob commended Hanse-Himarwa for the decision she has taken, accepting to live up to her responsibility by respecting the rule of law and the institutions of the Republic of Namibia.
In her resignation letter, Hanse-Himarwa extended sincere appreciation to President Geingob for the trust he had placed in her abilities over the years.
President Geingob wishes to thank Hanse-Himarwa for having served in her Ministerial duties the Namibian people with dedication and loyalty.
Hanse-Himarwa’s statement in this regard reads as follows:
I strongly believe that all Namibians, including Public Office Bearers, have the right to a fair trial and are innocent, until proven guilty. In light of the High Court of Namibia’s verdict yesterday, 08 July 2019, I intend to exercise my full legal rights, through the appropriate legal channels. I understand the seriousness of the conviction and I am also mindful of the President’s strong views on transparency and accountability. In this light, I herewith confirm that I have requested to be relieved of my duties as Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, with immediate effect.
I wish to thank President Hage Geingob for his forthright and principled leadership. Serving in his Cabinet has been an honour and a privilege, from which I have learned immense lessons. One of my observations has been a concerted effort to portray him in a negative light and dilute, disparage and diminish his leadership. I apologise to both him, and the Namibian people, as I know this Conviction has been a source of disappointment and distress for many who know me. When I was appointed as Minister of Education, Arts and Culture on 20 March 2015, I took a constitutional oath to, inter alia, uphold, defend and protect the constitution and serve the Namibian people to the best of my ability. I have upheld this constitutional oath with the conscientiousness that was required of me. This resignation is within the context of this obligation.
I am immensely proud of what the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has achieved since my appointment. Due to a committed and hard-working team, we have managed to establish a ministerial culture where mutual respect, co-operation and a singular pursuit of bridging the gaps in the basic education system prevailed. I sincerely thank each and every staff member of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for their support and I urge them to remain focused and determined to achieve our shared dream of improving the quality of education in Namibia for all our children.
I also wish to thank my fellow Public Office Bearers, and all stakeholders, with whom my path has crossed, and I wish them well as their success is their pursuit of success for the Namibian nation.
This has been an incredibly difficult and emotional period for my family and I. Their love and support has been a critical element in my ability to withstand the attacks on my character and numerous unfounded accusations and insults that I have had to endure. The same is true for my extended family, community and friends. I am sincerely grateful for your unconditional love and support. I have received calls from people from all walks of life, including those with who I have had political differences, and I am grateful for their reminders that the Lord is our fortress.
My faith remains in Him and, as a believer, I trust in his everlasting love and that He will carry me through these challenging times. I will use this time to reflect and re-focus and respectfully request that my privacy be respected.
09 July 2019, Windhoek, Namibia