President Hage Geingob has given the clearest indication yet that he will not consider appointing members of the opposition to his Cabinet, while admitting he was finding it difficult who to name in his new executive for the next five years.
However, Geingob yesterday reappointed Nangolo Mbumba and Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as vice president and prime minister respectively. He also reappointed international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as deputy prime minister.
Geingob, who will be sworn in on Saturday for his second and final term as head of state, also hinted that he would not consider appointing members of the opposition when asked by journalists during the media conference.
“If you are competing to defeat me, and I defeat you? I must now accommodate you? Is that the new logic in Namibia? Why did we waste our money and time to defeat the other person?” charged Geingob.
“When I was campaigning, you were not there. It was hectic. So, why must I be told to appoint the opposition? When I campaigned and I defeated you, now you want them to join me.”
At one point, Geingob jokingly told journalists that some Namibians were expecting him to appoint Dr Panduleni Itula and youth activist Job Amupanda to his Cabinet.
Itula challenged Geingob for the country’s presidency as an independent candidate during last year’s elections. He obtained nearly 30% of the total vote, compared to Geingob’s 56%.
Geingob defended the reappointment of the three top leaders, saying they have been loyal to both the ruling party and the country. But he added that he was spending sleepless nights in choosing members of his Cabinet.
“It is a difficult task. I wish you could be in my position. It is not easy. I have sleepless nights. Sometimes I wake up at 04h00. You play with this and put it away. It is difficult then you consult,” said Geingob while clearly playing his cards close to his chest with regard to his new Cabinet, which will be unveiled in the coming days.
Geingob also said the party was already grooming young leaders to take over the affairs of the country. “President Nujoma was also a young man when he became a freedom fighter. I was young too. I became a prime minister when I was only 48 after a long struggle,” said Geingob who mentioned the likes of Pohamba Shifeta, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala and Peya Mushelenga among the leaders groomed into senior positions. In his statement, Geingob said the vice president would have delegated oversight over the social safety net cluster, which is made up of the gender equality, poverty eradication and social welfare departments. The two ministries have been merged and will now report to the Office of the Vice President in the Presidency.
The prime minister will among others continue to lead government’s business in the National Assembly as well as coordinate the work of Cabinet and the public service.
“He or she oversees the implementation of Cabinet decisions at ministerial and government levels and is tasked to implement the performance management system. The prime minister may also perform other functions as may be assigned by the President or Vice President.” The deputy prime minister will deputise the prime minister and oversee disaster risk management, focusing on prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. The deputy minister is also expected to hold a ministerial position.
2020-03-19 07:25:43 | 3 months ago