WINDHOEK - Former Keetmanshoop Urban councillor Hilma Nicanor has been appointed as a special advisor on veterans’ affairs in the Office of the Vice-President.
Her appointment is effective 1 November.
Nicanor served as deputy minister responsible for veterans’ affairs, but had to relinquish the position after resigning as a member of the National Council in compliance with the Electoral Act, which compels aspiring parliamentarians and those employed in the public service to first resign from their positions before running for office.
Nicanor, who is number 18 on the Swapo parliamentary list, was part of the 16 ruling party MP hopefuls who resigned last month.
President Hage Geingob, however, appointed her as special advisor in the presidency, with a salary equivalent to that of a deputy minister. Her appointment is only until March 2020.
Presidency spokesperson Alfredo Hengari confirmed Nicanor’s appointment yesterday, but denied any other special advisor jobs made by the Head of State.
Although Nicanor’s new position does not contradict the Electoral Act since it is a presidential appointment, various commentators including the country’s official opposition, have criticised the latest development and labeled it as ‘jobs-for-comrades’.
“Geingob complains about the civil service bill and says people must go for early retirement, but he continues to appoint advisors as if he has money to shop at Edgars, when in fact he has less than a Pep budget,” said PDM leader McHenry Venaani.
Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah yesterday said Geingob has the right to appoint anyone at anytime. However, under the circumstance of Nicanor resignation, the commentator added, it is puzzling that the Head of State would risk to be seen as creating jobs for his comrades.
“It would have served him well had he waited until after election or until his second term,” Kamwanyah said.
“Certainly, his political opponents are going to use the appointment to their advantages by painting the President as corrupt in using his position to provide jobs for his Swapo colleagues who resigned in fulfillment of the Electoral Act,” he added.
Political commentator Graham Hopwood said in view of the current tight fiscal times, the appointment seems inappropriate.
“But patronage system only works if the gravy train keeps running. Therefore, Swapo must have found it difficult to drop her even if only for five months,” he said briefly.
2019-11-07 07:19:58 | 10 months ago