- Breaking news: A severe drought countrywide has prompted President Pohamba to declare a state of emergency.
Major diplomatic reshuffle looms
At least six heads of Namibia’s diplomatic missions will be re-called back home if a proposal drafted by presidential advisor on foreign affairs, Tuliameni Kalomoh, sails through unopposed.
The reshuffle would also see the Foreign Affairs Ministry lose its Deputy Minister Peya Mushelenga, who, according to the recommendation, should be appointed as Namibia’s ambassador to the USA.
The Permanent Secretary of the same ministry, Veiccoh Nghiwete, has been recommended for a posting to the United Kingdom as High Commissioner.
The recommendation, seen by Namibian Sun, is dated February 24, 2012 and was drafted on President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s instruction issued in a meeting held the previous day – on February 23.
Those that have been recommended for a return home are Daniel Smith, currently in Sweden, Hopelong Ipinge (Brazil), Kakena Nangula (recalled recently from Ethiopia and the African Union) and George Liswaniso (United Kingdom).
Also recommended for re-call to Namibia are Martin Kapewasha, who is currently Namibia’s ambassador to South Africa, and Panduleni Shingenge, presently Namibia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Kalomoh recommended that Smith and Ipinge be “recalled for redeployment in the Public Service”, while Nangula was tipped for a redeployment at the headquarters of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Nangula has since returned to Namibia after a problem-ridden stint in Ethiopia where she had confrontational spats with her deputy Linda Scott.
If the recommendation sails through without amendment, Liswaniso would head of the Department of Multi-lateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while Shingenge would head the Bilateral Affairs Department of the same ministry.
With Kapewasha, it has been recommended that he be re-called to Namibia but no new redeployment has been proposed, according to the document.
The document suggests that Anne Mutelo, presently the counsellor at the Namibian mission to the United Nations in New York, be appointed as ambassador to Austria.
Current ambassador to Austria, Raphael Dinyando, was to be switched to Sweden, while Sophia Nangombe, counsellor at the Namibian High Commission in India, would become ambassador to Cuba.
Kalomoh proposed that Ambassador to the USA, Martin Andjamba, be posted to Ethiopia and the African Union.
Alternatively, the seasoned diplomat suggested, this posting must be taken up by Namibian Ambassador to the DRC, Ringo Abed.
If the latter suggestion gets the green light, the counselor at the Namibian embassy in Angola, Pius Dunaiski, would replace Abed as ambassador to the DRC.
Neville Gertze has been recommended for a switch from Germany to South Africa, and would be replaced by Wilbard Hellao in that European country.
Hellao is currently head of the Department of Bilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kalomoh wants current High Commissioner to Tanzania, Japhet Isaack, to become ambassador of the country to Japan and he would be replaced in Tanzania by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Balbina Pienaar.
The document further suggests that Jerobeam Shaanika, Minister Counsellor at the Namibian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, be appointed as ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Deputy Director for Bilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sabine Bölke-Möller has been recommended for the ambassadorial posting to Geneva.
Since the recommendations were made in February, only one of them – the recalling of Nangula – has been implemented thus far.
Attempts to get Kalomoh for comment proved futile yesterday as his phone remained switched off.
Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Nghiwete, who sounded surprised at the news that his name is also in the mix, said he was not aware that there were plans for new diplomatic postings.
“Maybe it is still coming, but I am not aware of it. Only the appointing authority would know exactly when the next postings would be made,” said Nghiwete.