Geingob to appoint governors

10 April 2015 Author  

front hage 10 aprilRecent political appointments and shifts within Swapo party Government structures have created a vacuum in various regions that currently function without a Governor. Speculation was rife this week that President Hage Geingob was preparing to announce his appointments of Governors early next week.

Some of the names leaked to the Windhoek Observer seemed obvious choices, but the name of Ida Hoffman who is tipped to become the next Governor of the Karas region came as a surprise.

Hoffman currently serves as a backbencher in the National Assembly on a Swapo party ticket.

If she does clinch the Governor’s position, it will represent a steep climb up the political ladder to an office that is almost equivalent to a minister in terms of remuneration and benefits.

Rumour has it that Aranos Mayor Esmé Isaak could become the next Governor of the Hardap region, replacing Katrina Hanse-Himarwa who was appointed Minister of Education, Arts and Culture.

Geingob will reportedly also bring back party stalwart Angelika Muharukua who did not make it back onto the party’s parliamentary list, and appoint her as Governor of the Kunene region.

What also appeared a pretty obvious choice would be the appointment of the current Swapo party regional coordinator for Omusati, Erkki Endjala, as Governor of that region to replace Sophia Shaningwa.

However, sources said it is debatable whether this would be a wise political move for Endjala who would lose his place as a member of the party’s central committee if he were to become Governor.

The mighty Khomas region finds itself without a steward since Laura McLeod-Katjirua also took up a seat in the National Assembly.

It remains to be seen who will become the next Governor of the Khomas region.

The Windhoek Observer also understands that Henock Ya Kasita, who currently serves as a member of the National Council, will replace Penda Ya Ndakolo as Governor of the Oshikoto region.

Similarly, vacancies have been created in the various ministries for the sought after position of permanent secretary.

The new ministries like the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Public Enterprises and the newly split education ministry will all require permanent secretaries.

The appointment of George Simaata as secretary to Cabinet has left a vacancy for a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation.

There has been speculation in the higher echelons of Government that the ‘untouchable’ permanent secretaries might finally face the axe under the Geingob administration.

Geingob has strongly emphasised in recent months that ministers are the heads of all ministries.

The ‘untouchables’ have overshadowed and at times over-powered their ministers, which has often led to power struggles between the two offices.

The Windhoek Observer further understands that between now and September another six permanent secretaries will go into retirement as they reach mandatory retirement age.

This will allow Geingob to appoint younger blood as the administrative heads of ministries.

Among those due for retirement are permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Joseph Iita, PS of Gender and Child Welfare Erastus Negonga and PS at Fisheries and Marine Resources Ulitala Hiveluah.
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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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