Despite being offered the lucrative and high profile position as secretary to the National Assembly, former election director Joram Rukambe has opted to remain with the United Nations for two more years.
Rukambe was appointed in January as the National Assembly’s secretary and was expected to start work early last month. It is understood that the appointment was given the green light by Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa.
Jakes Jacobs, whose term ended in September last year, was appointed as technical advisor for six months to coach Rukambe as the incoming secretary, with expectations that he would assume duty on the first day of February.
However, Katjavivi explained at the weekend that this would not be the case, as Rukambe has opted to remain with his current employer, the United Nations, for another two years. The search for a suitable candidate to fill the position of secretary to the National Assembly has, therefore, started afresh. It is understood one of the candidates already interviewed will be appointed.
“While we made him the offer, the United Nations [also] made him an offer and he opted to go for that job. This left me with no options, but to look at the other candidates who were shortlisted. I went back to the drawing board to look at the other candidates. I’m looking at someone who can start at the beginning of May,” Katjavivi explained.
“It is very critical and very much regrettable that it has taken this long to find a successor to former secretary Jacobs,” said Katjavivi, adding: “As the accounting officer it is very important to have that person, as they make the day-to-day running of the National Assembly smooth as possible.” The selection process should be concluded as soon as possible, he said.
On whether current acting secretary Findley Harker is one the candidates, Katjavivi explained that he is “looking of someone with the ability to revive and strengthen the National Assembly.”
He, however, said this does not take anything away from Harker, but he is looking elsewhere. Deputy secretary to the National Assembly Harker is currently the acting secretary. The position of secretary to the National Assembly is equivalent to the post of a permanent secretary.
As per the provisions of the Constitution, the prerogative to appoint a new secretary lies with the Speaker. The new candidate will be 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 to 1996. He was succeeded by Stephanie Winson, who served from 1997 to 2000. Moses Ndjarakana took over from 2001 to 2005 and Simon Goabab held the post from 2006 to 2009. Jakes Jacobs served in the position from 2009 to 2015.