President still to decide on Finance Deputy Minister

27 Aug 2013 11:10
WINDHOEK, 27 AUG (NAMPA) - There is no word yet on how long the Ministry of Finance will have to continue to operate without a deputy minister.
The ministry has been without a deputy ministry for about eight months now - since the former Deputy Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein’s appointment as the Minister of Trade and Industry by President Hifikepunye Pohamba during a Cabinet reshuffle last year.
In a telephonic interview with Nampa on Tuesday, Presidential Affairs Minister and Attorney-General Albert Kawana said the President is aware of the situation and it is for that reason that he appointed Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Paul Hartmann.
Hartmann joined the ministry on 01 March this year, bringing with him 33 years of professional experience.
He served in the Ministry of Finance for 22 years and in the Bank of Namibia (BoN) for 11 years, where he served as a senior manager in the Banking Service Department for one year, and as Deputy Governor for 10 years.
“I cannot say what is in the mind of the president. We are still waiting for instructions in that regard,” Kawana said.
Nampa also spoke to First National Bank of Namibia (FNB)'s Head of Research and Competitor Intelligence, Namene Kalili, to find out how effectively the ministry can operate without a deputy minister.
“Even though a deputy minister has not been appointed yet, the minister should be able to fill in pretty easily,” he noted.
He added that both leaders are just the political heads of the national treasury, saying it is the technocrats who do most of the work.
A local daily newspaper reported earlier this year that speculations were rife that former partner and director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Patty Karuaihe-Martin could become Namibia’s next Deputy Minister of Finance or Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
Instead she was appointed as the Head of Project Management Office: Tax Reforms in the Ministry of Finance.