19 Dec 2018 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 19 DEC (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob has relieved Bernard Haufiku as Minister of Health and Social Services, replacing him with Dr Kalumbi Shangula.
Haufiku will now serve as the Special Adviser for Health and Social Services in the Presidency at the Office of the Vice President.
This was announced in a media statement issued by State House Press Secretary, Alfredo Hengari on Wednesday.
This also means that Haufiku will no longer be a member of the National Assembly (NA) when it resumes business next year.
The appointment as a Special Advisor is through mutual accord, the statement said.
Last month, Geingob promised to deal with Haufiku at a Swapo-Party Central Committee meeting here, after Haufiku in an interview that appeared in a local daily newspaper, accused his appointing authority of interfering with his ministrys affairs.
Haufikus ousting comes at a time when several Swapo Party MPs have complained about senior party members criticising the party or government at public platforms.
Geingob said at the same meeting that some of his minister needed an induction.
They dont even know. Look at what they are talking around. I was shocked to hear (what the) minister of health said. We will deal with it at a different level, Geingob promised at the time.
In October, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare minister, Zephania Kameeta wanted his counterpart and Public Enterprises Deputy Minister, Veikko Nekundi reprimanded for criticising governments operations.
Contrary to that, the speaker of the NA, Peter Katjaviv came to the defence of Swapo MPs, saying that they were not barred on speaking their minds, as long as it is in the nations interest.
Haufiku is the third minister to be relieved off his duties by Geingob this year, alongside former Home Affairs minister, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Sports, Youth and National Services minister, Jerry Ekandjo.
Ivula-Ithana and Ekandjo however retained their positions as MPs.
Shangula, who is currently the Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Namibias Hage Geingob Campus, will be sworn-in as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the National Assembly on Thursday and will take his oath of office immediately thereafter at State House.