• Two Cabinet reshuffles
• Only six ministers survived reshuffles
• Two senior ministers died in office
• One minister not re-appointed
WINDHOEK – Cabinet met yesterday for the last time under President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s leadership – a symbolic meeting that saw him bid farewell to his Cabinet appointees.
Having reshuffled his Cabinet in 2008 and 2012, only a handful six ministers managed to cling onto the portfolios in which Pohamba initially appointed them when he took office in 2005.
They are Dr Richard Kamwi (health), John Mutorwa (agriculture), Joel Kaapanda (information), Dr Albert Kawana (presidential affairs), Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (finance) and Alpheus !Naruseb (lands and resettlement).
Apart from Kamwi and Kaapanda, who both did not make it onto the latest Swapo parliamentary list, the rest are in the running to form part of President-elect Dr Hage Geingob’s Cabinet.
Geingob last week appointed Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to serve as the country’s next prime minister.
Pohamba’s major Cabinet shake-ups include axing outspoken youth minister Kazenambo Kazenambo in 2012, as well as promoting Geingob from trade minister to prime minister the same year.
“Not all the Comrades that were appointed as members of Cabinet are here with us today. Along the way, some have ceased to be members of the Executive and are now serving the nation and the Swapo Party in other capacities. That is the nature of public service. I thank them all for their dedicated service over the years,” Pohamba said.
Pohamba told Cabinet members present yesterday that working with them was an honour he will always remember and thanked them for their loyalty from which, according to him, he drew strength.
“I salute all of you for your service to the nation in the different portfolios. Indeed, your hard work and dedication to duty have helped to deliver service, combat poverty and improve the living conditions of our people, thus moving Namibia closer to the realisation of our medium- and long-term development objectives,” he said.
He said the 2014 Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership award that he received is a recognition of the strides that the country has made as a result of the “commendable collective work of our Cabinet and the entire Namibian people in different sectors over the years”.
Pohamba will receive N$58 million spread over 10 years from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in prize money followed by N$2.3 million per year for the rest of his life.
Pohamba also paid tribute to ministers such as Dr Abraham Iyambo, John Pandeni and deputy minister Willem Isaacks who all passed away during his tenure.