The Presidency this week insisted the creation of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) was not a duplication of the functions of the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade. Earlier this week, the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters called on President Hage Geingob to relieve some Cabinet ministers of their responsibilities, including industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu, claiming her work was being done by the newly created NIPDB.
However, Presidency spokesperson Alfredo Hengari dismissed the assertion, saying the NEFF has it wrong. “There is no duplication since certain functions, such as investment promotion and medium and small enterprises development were taken from the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, which is vested with the trade and industrialisation mandate,” he said. “Investment promotion has become highly specialised and in light of the challenges we have been facing, the need for focus on the investment mandate and the development of SMMEs is more urgent.” According to Hengari, nations such as Singapore, France and Rwanda chose the path of the investment board. “There is simply no duplication in the functions and the two entities, with different but complementary mandates have been working quite well and the recent successful conclusion of the Namibia Investment Summit in Dubai is a clear demonstration of what can be done.” During a media briefing this week, NEFF also called for the ministers of health and education to be shown the door, claiming they were incompetent. “Health minister (Dr Kalumbi Shangula) needs to be recalled and replaced with a competent person that has Namibians at heart as hospitals have no medication.
The minister of education (Anna Nghipondoka) should be fired immediately for her incompetence and poor planning of our education system,” NEFF vice president Iipumbu Kalimbo said. Responding to the claims, Hengari said there was no substance to the “wild claims” by the NEFF. “The two ministers [education and health] have performed remarkably well under challenging circumstances occasioned by Covid-19. Namibia is praised for the manner in which we handled Covid-19 and the education ministry was agile and proactive by implementing online learning and trying to ensure that no Namibian child was left behind during Covid-19,” he added. Nghipondoka also defended her record, saying she has been delivering as expected. “I don’t know what they meant by those allegations. I am known for my competency and implementation of the programmes. If certain programmes cannot be implemented due to lack of resources that does not mean I am incompetent,” she explained. She further dismissed allegations that there is poor planning within the education system, saying that all programmes are planned before implementation. “I still don’t know what they mean by poor planning. I think they need to be specific because the research of lessons is planned, infrastructure and reforms are all planned since 2011 and I have just implemented the government system,” she added. Contacted for comment, health minister Shangula indicated that he is outside the country and has no knowledge about the allegations.
Fighting on…NEFF vice president Kalimbo Iipumbu, president Epafras Mukwiilongo and party members Jeremia Kasume and Michael Amushelelo.
Photos: Loide Jason