I was never recalled – Kazenambo

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WINDHOEK, 01 November 2011 - Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture Minister Kazenambo Kazenambo emphasizing a point while addressing the youth on the Africa Youth Day celebration held at Katutura Multi-Purpose Youth Center Hall. The theme for the Day this year is 'Accelarating Youth Empowerment for Sastainable Development'. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Former youth minister Kazenambo Kazernambo has said he personally asked former president Hifikepunye Pohamba – whom he described as a true democrat – to relieve him of his duties and was not recalled from office, as stated earlier this week by Vice-President Nickey Iyambo.

The VP, responding to claims that Swapo was treating its members differently following the recall of Bernadus Swartbooi last week, cited Kazenambo’s case as an example of high-profile officials recalled by the party for similar transgressions.

Prior to vacating the post of youth minister, Kazenambo had a series of public outbursts, such as his heated confrontation with journalists Tileni Mongudhi, then of Insight Magazine, and late Jan Poolman, then editor of Namibian Sun.

On camera he had torn up a copy of The Namibian Sun newspaper following a report in that paper about a trip Kazenambo had taken to Germany regarding the repatriation of genocide skulls from that country.
During an interview with Mongudhi, he was said to have objected to the line of questioning and referred to “stupid Owambos” before confiscating the reporter’s recorder.

An irate Kazenambo yesterday contacted New Era to respond to the VP’s remarks, saying it was news to him that he was recalled.

“President Pohamba is a fair man and a true democrat. Every time there was a fabrication against me, he’d call me at State House and ask me to brief him,” Kazenambo, now a private businessman, said.

“The last meeting was attended by myself, him and Christine Hoebes, who was Pohamba’s assistant. He wanted clarity on allegations that I apparently said in Gam that all top positions in government were reserved for Aawambo,” he recalled.

“I told the president that it was a lie. How could I have said that when I myself was a full minister and non-Oshiwambo speaking? I’m not stupid.

“It was in that meeting that I said to Comrade Pohamba, ‘Look, I want you to enjoy your last term peacefully. Instead of calling me to State House every other week over alleged tribal remarks I have made, please release me from my ministerial duties.’

“When the letter eventually came, it did not say I was recalled. The president said there’d been some changes in government and he wished me well in my future endeavours.”

Kazenambo said he was once even invited to Pohamba’s farm to explain allegations made against him.
“Nickey must stop using my name to justify their violation of the party’s constitution. They must leave me and President Pohamba out of their issues.

“He must rather explain how N$47 million was used in the genocide case, while nothing has come of it,” Kazenambo charged.

He also vehemently denied being a tribalist.
Last week Kazenambo openly criticised the manner in which former Swapo MP Bernardus Swartbooi was recalled from parliament, saying procedures were not followed.

Swapo said it was left with no choice but to recall Swartbooi, who had been publicly stating that he was “99.9 percent not Swapo”.

The ruling party said it could not be represented in parliament and on other platforms by someone who openly states that they are not a member of the party.

President Hage Geingob during a press conference on Monday explained to the media that he gave Swartbooi enough opportunity to reconsider the utterances that landed him in trouble, but the youthful politician would not heed the instruction of his appointing authority.

Geingob explained that apart from formally writing to Swartbooi to withdraw and apologise for the remarks he made that he (Swartbooi) does not report to Land Reform Minister Utoni Nujoma, he also invited him to State House to discuss the same, but the deputy minister refused to comply.

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