While State House insists President Hage Geingob is seized with the matter of appointing a new defence minister, some commentators believe the delay in naming Peter Vilho’s replacement could be down to careful vetting.
Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari yesterday said the appointment of the defence minister position, left vacant by the resignation of Vilho, is still high on Geingob’s agenda.
Vilho resigned amidst corruption allegations linked to an offshore bank account in Hong Kong. Geingob later withdrew Vilho from parliament following his resignation from his ministerial position.
Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said what the President should have done is to place the ministry under his office while he looks for a proper replacement.
“It probably has to do with the vetting process. It takes time to do a quality vetting, considering also that he probably has two to three names that need to be vetted out. But yes, the defence portfolio is too critical to be left for a long time without a head,” Kamwanyah said.
Political analyst and senior lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Admire Mare thinks the President is still consulting and looking at potential candidates.
“Recruitment, by its very nature, is time-consuming and consists of various stages, including long listing, shortlisting, vetting and appointment,” he said.
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) leader Mike Kavekotora yesterday questioned the delay in the appointment, describing it as worrisome.
“Defence is a very critical ministry that deals with national security matters. The President anticipated the outcome of the meeting between him and Vilho, and should have had a name ready to replace the outgoing minister. It is indeed worrisome that the President attaches little value to such a critical position. One wonders why,” Kavekotora said.
Leader of the official opposition McHenry Venaani said the President is still within his rights and time to pick a suitable candidate; however, he questioned how such a key portfolio does not have someone acting in the position.