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Sirkka Ausiku appointed as Kavango West governor

Features, National
Features, National

WINDHOEK – President Hifikepunye Pohamba announced on Saturday at the Swapo Party Central Committee meeting in the capital that he had appointed Sirkka Ausiku as the first governor of the Kavango West Region. Ausiku is currently the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development. “The Central Committee welcomed the appointment of Comrade Sirkka Ausiku as governor of the newly created Kavango West Region as from next month. This appointment is another marked fulfilment of the Swapo Party policy on gender equality. The Central Committee also congratulated the new governor and wished her success,” the party’s Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba  said yesterday when presenting to the media the outcomes of the two-day Swapo Central Committee meeting held in Windhoek over the weekend. Although it is not yet official, sources privy to Ausiku’s appointment informed New Era that Pohamba would soon announce that Ausiku’s special advisor would be the former Namibian Ambassador to Cuba, Heikki Hausiku. Hausiku is the founding mayor of Nkurenkuru. Ausiku’s appointment has raised some eyebrows with some observers questioning Pohamba’s decision to make the announcement of her appointment at a Swapo Party conference and not a national platform. When  contacted for comment, Ausiku refused to comment on anything relating to her appointment and pleaded ignorance on the matter. She also served as the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare. Ausiku will be the founding governor of the region, which was formed after the Fourth Delimitation Commission last year recommended that Kavango Region be divided into two regions because of its vastness. Ausiku, known as an able administrator, will have to develop a hands-on approach when her term commences, considering that there has been a number of land disputes in Kavango West. Land is one of the biggest issues causing tension in Kavango West, therefore residents will be eager to see how Ausiku deals with illegal fencing and land grabbing, which is rife in the region. A party insider informed New Era that Ausiku would be operating from the Nkurenkuru Town Council premises since government offices to accommodate the Kavango West Regional Council are yet to be built. Swapo’s female wing, the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC), has welcomed Ausiku’s appointment and said it was a sign of many more good things to come for Namibian women. “Her appointment is good news for us and we are happy because she is a woman. Tate Samuel [Mbambo] is the governor for Kavango East and now Sirkka [Ausiku] is the governor for Kavango West. You can see that our president is serious about 50/50,” said the Secretary of the SPWC, Petrina Haingura. Although the party is struggling to devise an implementation formula for the 50/50 policy, Haingura is optimistic that a blueprint will be found before the next electoral college is held. “For those who are claiming the party will not implement the policy, all I am saying is there can be no going back now because the policy is in the party’s constitution,” she said. “I do not think the formula will be a problem,” stressed Haingura, adding: “We are working on something. You can sense that everybody wants this thing to be implemented." Discussions have abounded on the implementation of 50/50 gender balance, with the Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila warning that the implementation of the 50/50 policy should be sustainable and bring about positive change. The finance minister, speaking in the National Assembly last week Thursday, said: “We must ensure that the change is sustainable. We must have strategies to make sure that we do not [only] have 50/50 in these [upcoming] elections while in the other elections it is only 20 percent women. We must identify the causes of the imbalances we are facing and address them. Our responses should not aim at short-term measures but also medium and long term.” She added: “Everybody should be brought along and it should not be about men having to give up something or women gaining something. “Change must bring about improvement because this 50/50 is not only about equal gender representation but it should improve the outcomes of the work of the structures. It must show … that the changes have brought improvement.” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila cautioned that a section of the national talent would be left idle if one sex was left behind. “As a developing nation we are forced to make use of all our available talents – if we fail to do that we will all lose because it is not just about men and women,” she said. Earlier this year, the Swapo Party Vice President, Dr Hage Geingob, proposed that the party convene a consultative meeting to discuss the implementation formula of the 50/50 gender policy thatwas adopted during the party’s 2012 Fifth Ordinary Congress. “I propose that we hold a consultative meeting before we make blunders and destroy the party. "We are just shouting 50/50 but we did not think carefully on how we will implement it,” said Geingob at the time. By Mathias Haufiku
New Era Reporter
2014-04-28 10:33:29 4 years ago

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