President Hage Geingob could appoint at least two deputy ministers, following the just-ended regional council and local authority elections in which two deputy ministers lost their seats in the National Council.
The president could, however, opt not to replace agriculture deputy minister Theo Diergaardt and works deputy minister Kilus Nguvauva – by simply keeping one deputy minister at both ministries.
Currently both affected ministries have two deputy ministers.
Diergaardt lost the regional council election in the Rehoboth West Urban Constituency to the United People Movement (UPM) and would have to vacate his seat in the National Council.
His works and transport counterpart Nguvauva could also not emerge from the Swapo primaries in which the party sought a candidate for the renamed Okorukambe Constituency, and would therefore have to vacate his parliamentary seat too in the National Council.
Raphael Mokaleng, a Swapo member, defeated Nguvauva in the Swapo primaries for Okorukambe before trouncing DTA’s Emgardt Kandovazu in Friday’s election to all but become councillor for the newly-renamed constituency.
The law requires that ministers and deputy ministers have to be members of either the National Assembly or National Council.
Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency Councillor Hilma Nicanor, the only other deputy minister in the National Council, retained her councillorship position and is widely expected to continue as deputy minister of veteran affairs in the vice-president’s office.
The ministries of works and agriculture both have two deputy ministers at the moment and President Geingob is expected to either replace Diergaardt and Nguvauva with new faces or simply choose to keep one deputy minister at each of the two ministries.
Anna Shiweda is the other deputy minister at agriculture, while James Sankwasa is a deputy minister at the works ministry, alongside Diergaardt.