Political Analyst Questions New Appointees

20 Mar 2015 07:00am
WINDHOEK, 20 MAR (NAMPA) - President-elect Dr Hage Geingob's cabinet appointments is a mix of some new innovations but also maintains a hand of the old political system, said analyst and human rights activist Dr Nico Horn.
Horn made the analysis in an interview with Nampa after Geinngob announced the names of those making up his cabinet of ministers and deputies at a press conference here on Thursday.
“He still kept Jerry Ekandjo as Minister of Youth and Sport. I thought initially when President Pohamba appointed him it was because he was supported by the Swapo party Youth League (SPYL) and not because he performed at that ministry,” said Horn.
Horn told Nampa that he is trying to make sense of the appointment of current Justice Minister Uutoni Nujoma to the Ministry of Land Reform in addition to other appointments as well.
Nujoma's performance he said will still have to be seen as he is new at the helm of that ministry but the combination of him and !Karas Governor Clinton Swartbooi as his deputy will be interesting. Swartbooi, Horn stressed, is known as one of the upcoming stars because of his work in the south of Namibia and because he is highly respected by almost everybody in the farming community.
“I am very pleased with the creation of the new Ministry of Poverty Eradication that will be headed by Bishop Zephania Kameeta. This appointment gives us some hope of real work in that direction,” he noted.
Another excellent appointment Horn mentioned is at the Ministry of Education that has now been split in two: Education, Arts and Culture and Higher Education Training, Research and Innovation.
Horn said the appointment of Dr Itah Kandji-Murangi as Minister of Higher Education, Training, Research and Innovation is a good choice as she is an experienced academic and very well respected in that regard.
“I was just wondering what Pieter van der Walt is doing as
Deputy Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprise Development,” he questioned.
According to Horn, the Institute for Public Policy Research graded him as one of the invisible Members of Parliament as he hardly contributed to discussions.
“All of a sudden he is appointed as deputy minister. Maybe the gesture is that of reconciliation but I do not think he is the right person for the job,” Horn analysed.
He said he could however not disregard current Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana to retain her position as she has done an excellent job at that ministry. He said she has brought change to that ministry where there was none for a very long time.
Horn also hailed the appointment of Frans Kapofi as Minister of the Presidency, saying he is one of the mature and respected public servants; a man with no enemies, a hard worker and a good administrator.
“Of course we are all still waiting in anticipation for the appointment of the Attorney General, who will probably be in the person of Sacky Shanghala or somebody else of that calibre,” he said.
The AG he explained does not have to be a MP although he or she will be a political appointee.
“Maybe the President-elect will surprise us with a non-political appointee,” Horn predicted.
Meanwhile the incoming President's government structure is still incomplete, as some ministries do not have deputies. On this, Geingob said he is still consulting and would announce the complete structure soon. MPs are to be sworn in and take Oath of Office on Friday before Namibia celebrates her Silver Jubilee, 25 years of independence on Saturday 21 March 2015.