The National Assembly has appointed Joram Rukambe as its new secretary with effect from February, New Era can confirm.
Rukambe’s appointment was given the green light by Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa last month. Rukambe thus replaces Jakes Jacobs, whose term ended in September last year.
Jacobs has in the meantime been appointed as a technical advisor for six months to coach the incoming secretary, who is expected to assume duty on the first day of February.
As the parliamentary secretary Rukambe will serve as the chief administrator of the National Assembly, a position that is equivalent to that of a permanent secretary.
According to Rukambe’s LinkedIn profile (a professional social networking site), he currently works as a regional electoral advisor for the United Nations Development Programme and is the programme manager for Africa at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
In the past he served as Namibia’s director of elections from 1999 to 2003. He also worked as a resource person and consultant to several Southern African Development Community (SADC) electoral management bodies, and participated in election observation and assessment missions, mainly in Africa. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Natal.
As per the provisions of the Constitution, the prerogative to appoint a new secretary lies with the Speaker. National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi said yesterday that the appointee has been identified and will start next month, but declined to confirm that Rukambe has been appointed as the new secretary.
“That is already agreed upon. We have gone through the usual channels and the new secretary will commence on the first of next month,” he said.
Katjavivi further said: “I’m just waiting for a letter from the Secretary to Cabinet, because we have been working on the appointment and it has to be sorted out by both offices and the Public Service Commission. As of this week I’m expecting to get the actual document in writing from the Cabinet secretary and upon receiving that I will forward it to the new [NA] secretary.”
Simataa yesterday confirmed that he has already signed off the proposed letter of appointment. “I signed off that thing before I left on the 10th (December 2015). I had signed off [Joram] Rukambe’s appointment, so if he has not started it has nothing to do with me,” Simataa said.
Rukambe thus becomes the sixth secretary of the National Assembly since Independence in 1990. Andre Kilian was the country’s first secretary to the National Assembly and served in that position from 1990 to1996. He was succeeded by Stephanie Winson (1997-2000).
Moses Ndjarakana took over from 2001 to 2005 and Simon Goabab held the post from 2006 to 2009. Jacobs served as secretary of the NA from 2009 to 2015.