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Shikongo’s meteoric rise

2022-08-23  Edward Mumbuu

Shikongo’s meteoric rise

Twenty-four years ago, then an officer in the Namibia Defence Force, Joseph Shikongo rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel on 1 September 1998. 

As fate would have it, now deputy inspector general responsible for operations in the Namibian Police, Shikongo will ascend to the pinnacle of the force on 1 September 2022, replacing inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga, who heads into retirement. 

Just in April last year, Shikongo was deployed to head operations. 

On 18 September, Shikongo will turn 58. 

He described it as a weird coincidence on Monday, shortly after President Hage Geingob unveiled him as the new police chief during a ceremony held at State House. 

His term lapses in September 2024. 

Geingob thanked the outgoing Ndeitunga, saying he has served in the position with distinction, honour and sacrifice. 

The President was quick to inform Ndeitunga that he must never close the door as far as serving Namibians is concerned. 

“This is not the end of the road. You are leaving the uniform now [but] maybe you are to be in a suit like me [politician]. Maybe [go and] relax and come back to contribute in other ways,” Geingob said. 

As Ndeitunga clears his desk, Geingob said Shikongo must never shy away from tapping into the wisdom of the man he is succeeding. 

“It will be very stupid not to call in the former to say ‘how is this [done]?’. There is no harm in asking for advice,” Geingob said. 

In recent months, the public has been in suspense about who Ndeitunga’s successor will be, as the police and presidency played with their cards close to the chest. 

Last month, Ndeitunga submitted names of possible candidates to replace him to the security commission. 




The commission works on the shortlisting hand-in-hand with the minister of home affairs, immigration, safety and security.

Then, in consultation with, and on the recommendation of the commission, Geingob made the appointment. 

For long, deputy inspector general for administration major general Anne-Marie Nainda and Shikongo were seen as favourite heirs to Ndeitunga’s thrown.

The race had been tight and fierce. 

The duo wrote to Geingob to justify why they are fit for the top police post. 

Nainda was with Interpol abroad and also served as Oshikoto regional commander before being promoted to her current post in 2017.

Shikongo too has international acclaim after having worked on peacekeeping missions in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and at the United Nations’ head office in New York.

There was a third candidate whose name has not been made public. 

When push came to shove, however, Geingob chose Shikongo.

“We had basically two names. Two people cannot fill the post. Only one. So, since I had a choice to choose, I looked at the CVs, history and the level of difficulties we have in the force; I chose one of the cadres,” Geingob said. 

Geingob has worked with Shikongo in the past. 

He was his head of security when he was Prime Minister. 

But this played no role in the appointment, he said. 

“I look at the persons – not only academic qualifications – but looking at ‘are you going to be able to manage and control uniformed people?’ You can have all the degrees but if you cannot handle uniformed people, it is not going to be easy,” he justified. 


Caption (Shikongo): 

2022-08-23  Edward Mumbuu

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