By John Ekongo
The long-awaited cabinet reshuffle by President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Tuesday has aroused mixed feelings among the public.
New Era conducted a snap survey, to gauge the public’s response.
There is a proverb that says, “New brooms sweep clean.” If that is indeed true, then I guess we should embrace the Cabinet reshuffle as announced by the President. Provided that the reshuffled ministers will bring about new and improved changes within their respective ministries and thus bring about these changes in the service they provide to the Namibian society. Otherwise it would have all been in vain.
The reshuffle was long overdue since the President came in. It should have been a change of old to new faces; it is more of a recycling of old ideas into new positions (old wine into new bottles).
The good thing is that former Prime Minister Hage Geingob is back and this time in a strategic position. It is definitely a boost to Government. Ministers Ndaitwah, Kaapanda and Ekandjo’s moves are in all likelihood promotions, while the rest can be seen as demotions.
Ministry of Health (and Social Services) could be shaken too, just to send a message especially with the public’s concern of cleanliness and mishandling of patients.
I believe that each leader has a season. First, one is appointed to bring order where there was chaos. Secondly, to create a socially and economically viable environment and lastly, to unite.
Namibia is already experiencing a shortage of skilled labour, therefore it is important that we encourage multi-skilling and by redeploying our leaders, it is one of the modes we can achieve that.
So, I totally concur with the President’s decision to reshuffle Cabinet now and then.
We can only judge these new leaders once they have started operating fully because most of them are not knowledgeable about the fields they have been redeployed to, so we can only wait and see if the restructuring was worth the paper it was planned on.
Changes always happen for a reason and most of the time for the best. I think that political appointees should be ever ready to be reshuffled, removed, promoted or demoted. The good news is former Prime Minster, Dr Hage Geingob’s return to Cabinet.
I believe he is suitable for the position. However, we should know that ministers do not work in isolation. We are part of the total solution and whether they fail or succeed it all depends on us.
If there is any weakness in any sector, change might be done to enhance performance. I think it is good to build a strong team, which will perform better by achieving the set goals. I particularly feel good about the reintroduction of Dr Geingob to an important portfolio such as trade. I am pretty sure that he will use the experience he picked up in Washington to promote, sell, market and negotiate favourably for the country. Don’t be surprised if he becomes himself a chief negotiator, because he certainly possesses the knowledge, quality and ability. Minister Ndaitwah to environment, she has time and time again been exposed to different portfolios and has always performed well, therefore looks can be deceiving but she is a people’s person and a shrewd adaptor.