Namibian President Sam Nujoma announced a new cabinet on Sunday with few changes to the team which helped him win a third five-year term with a sizeable majority in the parliamentary and presidential elections last December.
Announcing the new cabinet which Namibian commentators said emphasises continuity, rather than change, Nujoma retained Hage Geingob as prime minister. The information ministry was merged into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with Theo-Ben Gurirab maintaining the ministerial position.
Nujoma also announced the creation of a new ministry of Women’s Development and Child Welfare by upgrading the Department of Women’s Affairs to a full-scale ministry with former Director-General Netumbo Ndaitwah taking up the ministerial portfolio with Marlene Mungunda appointed as deputy.
The office of the Attorney General was merged with the justice ministry under Ngarikutuke Tjiriange. Hifikepunye Pohamba, secretary general of the ruling Southwest Africa Peoples Organisation (SWAPO) was not retained as minister without portfolio, although he is likely to attend cabinet meetings as the party’s administrative chief.
Gwen Lister, editor of the independent daily, ‘The Namibian’, on Monday described it as “a very careful, cautious and strategically selected” cabinet. She said it was significant that a politician from the troubled northeast Caprivi strip had been chosen as deputy defence minister.