Kuugongelwa-Amadhila lists her priorities

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WINDHOEK – Incoming prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said one of her priorities in her position will be to improve the public service sector so that it delivers quality service to Namibians.

Speculation about who the next prime minister would be ended yesterday after President-elect Hage Geingob announced Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as the person to serve in that capacity.

Geingob will vacate the prime minister’s position next week when he takes over as the country’s president on March 21.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, currently the country’s finance minister, acknowledged the many challenges that would beg for her attention as prime minister, but looked unfazed by the demanding task ahead.

“I want to live up to the expectations,” she said at a press conference yesterday.

“My predecessors did their best but it is no secret that we still face enormous challenges as a country,” the former director-general of the National Planning Commission said.

“My focus will be on better service delivery by the public service sector. We have to deliver services to Namibians. The idea is to keep the momentum.”

It was confirmed yesterday that this year’s budget speech will be delivered after the new president – and new finance minister – have been sworn in on March 21.

Current National Planning Commission Director-General Tom Alweendo, a former governor of the Bank of Namibia and trade minister Calle Schlettwein – once a long-serving permanent secretary in the finance ministry – are hot favourites to replace Kuugongelwa-Amadhila at finance.

Veterans Affairs Minister Dr Nickey Iyambo was yesterday announced as the country’s incoming vice-president.
“I’m moved by the fact that I’ll be the first to ever serve in that capacity,” the 78-year-old veteran said.

“I’ll do all I can to carry out the functions that come with that office. I was asked to help the incoming president serve the Namibian people and I’ll help him to the best of my ability,” Iyambo, once a health minister, said.

“We can make a difference. We can’t be stagnant.”

Iyambo will have to resign from parliament, before he can take up his position as vice-president of the Republic, Geingob said yesterday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah was appointed deputy prime minister. Geingob indicated Nandi-Ndaitwah would concurrently serve as deputy prime minister and as a minister in a portfolio yet to be confirmed.

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