By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Namibia’s First Prime Minister and Swapo MP, Hage Geingob, has been appointed as the Swapo Chief Whip. The senior MP replaces Ben Amathila who resigned from parliament on Tuesday. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab, announced the appointment yesterday. The Speaker also announced that former Deputy Minister of Finance, Clara Bohitile, would fill the vacant position left by Amathila in parliament. Geingob is one of the most senior party members in the National Assembly and his political career dates back to 1963 at the age of 22, having been in exile for one year. He has since been entrusted with key responsibilities for the Swapo Party. His first assignment was as an assistant representative of the party in Botswana between 1963 and 1964. Thereafter, he became a petitioner to the United Nations and the United States until 1971. In 1972 he was appointed associate political affairs officer at the UN Secretariat. Geingob was the founding director of the UN Institute for Namibia (UNIN) in Lusaka. He established a solid reputation as an educator and negotiator while he was the UNIN director from 1975 until 1989. However, Geingob’s prominence shot up after he was appointed Swapo’s Elections Director for the UN-supervised elections in 1989 and subsequently as chairman for the Constituent Assembly. Former president Sam Nujoma appointed Bohitile as Deputy Minister of Basic Education and Culture in 1995. She had been running education projects at the Rossing Foundation and the Council of Churches of Namibia. Nujoma appointed her as a non-voting member of Parliament in 1995 but she gained voting rights in 2000. In July 2004 she was appointed deputy Finance Minister but after 2004 national elections she did not make it into parliament. However, she remained a member of the Central Committee. Bohitile is also a part-time farmer.
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