Speculation mounts over presidential aide exit

26 April 2019 Author   NYASHA FRANCIS NYAUNGWA
Presidential Advisor on Youth Matters & Enterprise Development Daisry Mathias’ future at State House remains a major talking point with speculation that she is set to be appointed as the new National Youth Service commissioner
A source at the National Youth Service (NYS) told the Windhoek Observer this week that Mathias, who is a member of the expensively assembled team of presidential advisors, is on her way out of State House and will soon be appointed as a commissioner to fill in the position left vacant when Onesmus Upindu’s term of office expired at the end of March.
Questions send to State House on Tuesday remained unanswered by the time of going to print, but NYS chairperson Mandela Kapere said he was not aware of such a development.
He said Mathias’ name is not amongst the five shortlisted candidates for the vacant position.
“The president instructed the [NYS] board to commence the process of recruiting a new National Youth Service commissioner in early November 2018. The board duly advertised the position in December 2018 and shortlisted close to 10 candidates who underwent psychometric assessment in March from which 5 candidates were selected for shortlisting,” Kapere said.
“I am not aware of any developments outside the above and I strongly doubt the speculations have any merit.”
He said the process to appoint the new commissioner has been delayed because of several checks that must be conducted before an appointment is made.
“Unfortunately the process of appointing the NYS commissioner is unlike that of appointing accounting officers in other public enterprises,” Kapere said. “It requires several layers of governance to undertake due diligence and to properly apply their minds to the proposed intervention. Such interventions may include several vetting measures, board led due diligence, ministerial due diligence and the consideration and application of mind to the recommendations, by the head of state.”
Another source close to the NYS board, also said that it was highly unlikely that Mathias will be appointed as the new commissioner.
“I seriously doubt that. In fact, I have heard about this speculation four months ago when the advisors’ contracts were up for renewal, and we know that four of those contracts were renewed. Why would the president direct the board to go ahead with the recruitment process when he knows that Mathias is on her way to the NYS?” the source said.
Speculation around Mathias, a former Team Namibia CEO, comes exactly a month after former presidential economic advisor, Dr John Steytler, resigned citing personal reasons linked to the death of his elder sister last year.
“I’ve had problems coping with that situation. It got to a point where I was consistently booked off and I started consistently feeling guilty of being perpetually away from such an important national responsibility,” Steytler told state-owned daily New Era last month.
Last year, Geingob’s former press secretary, Albertus Aochamub, left the presidency to join Namibia Airports Company as Acting CEO.
Initially his move to the NAC was described as a 12-month secondment, but tongues were set wagging when Dr Alfredo Hengari immediately filled his position at State House.
Aochamub was later appointed Namibian Ambassador to France. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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