Outspoken Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Kazenambo Kazenambo has been omitted in Namibian President, Hifikepunye Pohamba’s cabinet re-shuffle announced today.
Kazenambo who was incoming Prime Minister, Hage Geingob’s chief strategist during the party primary elections for the position of Vice President, has been replaced by his former boss Jerry Ekandjo.
Speaking to The Villager moments ago, a resolute Kazenambo said, “I do not know whether I have been pushed or I jumped but call me after two hours when I hope to have received a letter from State House. No need to rush into conclusions now.”
Kazenambo, a sworn nemesis of ruling party youth league secretary Elijah Ngurare, who was Ekandjo’s tactician during the party VP elections, was the first cabinet official to call for a non-Oshiwambo president.
During his tenure as Deputy Minister to Ekandjo in the Regional Local Government and Rural Development, Kazenambo reportedly threatened to quit after the two’s relations broke down.
Minister of Safety and Security Nangolo Mbumba is also out of cabinet as he takes up the full time Swapo party job of Secretary General and has been replaced by Immanuel Ngatjizeko, who has been replaced at Labour by Doreen Sioka, formerly at Gender.
Seemingly, Ekandjo needed to be moved from the ministry of regional and local government after the fall-out with several governors during the Swapo party vice presidential campaign of which he had aspirations.
Nonetheless, major beneficiaries to the surprise Pohamba changes include Deputy Minister of Finance Calle Schleittwein who is now a full Minister of Trade and Industry, and former Minister of Tourism and Neitumbo Nandi-Ndeitwah who has now taken over the reins at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Utoni Nujoma who is now the new Minister of Justice.
Pendukeni Iivula Ithana will have to contend with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Rosalia Nghidinwa now moves her belongings to the Ministry of the Ministry of Gender.
The announcement by the president today brought new changes to his current cabinet and has also seen the moving of Omaheke regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua to the Khomas region as governor, a move Pohamba said is because, “she cannot be expected to her party responsibilities (as Deputy Secretary General) at the same time holding the same position in Omaheke.”
Otjizondjupa Governor Rapama Kamehozu has now moved to Omaheke.
There is still no mention on the position of Minister of Tourism which remains vacant while that of deputy Minister of Finance is also vacant.
Geingob’s return to premiership is largely because of his weekend victory as the ruling party Vice President, and successor to President Pohamba. He is expected to start attending and running most presidential affairs on behalf of Pohamba who leaves office in 2015, after the 2014 general elections.