Otniel Hembapu Windhoek-Erastus Uutoni has been appointed as the new Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, replacing veteran politician Jerry Ekandjo, who was sacked by President Hage Geingob last week Thursday. Uutoni’s appointment was announced yesterday at State House during the official announcement of the Head of State’s much-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle, which saw more than 10 ministers being reshuffled. Ekandjo has since his dismissal remained an ordinary Swapo backbencher in the National Assembly. Born 57 years ago in Omatando near Ongwediva in the Oshana region, Uutoni is no newcomer to public office, having served in Cabinet since 2010 when he was first appointed Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, a position he held until 2015. In 2015, Uutoni was appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, a position he held until yesterday’s appointment as Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service. Uutoni, who holds a Diploma in Police Science and a Certificate in Marketing both from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) as well as a Certificate in Political Science from the Institute of Political Science in Moscow, was also elected as Mayor of Ongwediva in 1998. In 2009, he was selected for the Swapo list for the National Assembly of Namibia for the general elections. First to warmly welcome his appointment was the Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU), whose secretary-general Olsen Kahiriri said this was a step in the right direction by President Hage Geingob, as he strongly believes Uutoni has the required attitude, mindset and energy to steer the country’s youth and sport fraternity to the desired heights. “NAFPU, as a crucial stakeholder within the Namibian sport sector, we would like to congratulate Minister Uutoni on his appointment and equally welcome him to the sport family with open arms. As we are all aware of the many challenges facing the Namibian sport sector and the country’s youth as a whole, we have full faith in Uutoni’s leadership ability and his overall vision for Namibia as he has proven over the years in his various capacities, that’s why are affirming our readiness to assist and work hand in glove with him. It’s still early days to comment much but I hope things like the trifling budget allocation to the sport sector and inadequate human capital will enjoy great prominence on his list of priorities,” said an optimistic Kahiriri.
2018-02-09 11:00:31 7 months ago