Governors’ advisors appointedBy: ABSALOM SHIGWEDHA
SWAPO activists and former parliamentarians make up the list of advisors to the 13 regional governors appointed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the end of last year.
The advisors were quietly appointed and made official on Monday, according to a source The Namibian spoke to.
Last year the Regional Councils Act was amended to pave the way for the direct appointment of governors by the President.
The law also provides for the appointment of special advisors to each governor. It is not known if the President will appoint more advisors to the governors.
In terms of the old act governors were appointed by regional councils from the constituency councillors that made up the regional council.
Notable among the 13 special advisors are two former MPs, Hansina Christiaan and Lucia Basson, who did not make it back to the National Assembly last year after the 2009 elections.
The advisors will be at under-secretary level, just under deputy permanent secretaries.
The salary package of an under-secretary is around N$330 000, excluding car and housing allowances, which are also said to be substantial. Their monthly basic salary is around N$30 000. The advisors are appointed on a three-year contract basis.
Just on their basic pay, excluding numerous other benefits, the 13 advisors will cost the taxpayer N$51,4 million a year.
Christiaan, a resident of the Karas Region, was appointed as special advisor to Hardap governor Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, while Basson, who hails from the Hardap Region, will be advising Karas governor Clinton Swartbooi.
Basson is next on the Swapo Party National Assembly list and could return to the House when a seat becomes vacant.
The controversial Swapo coordinator for the Khomas Region, Michael Mwinga, also landed himself an advisor job to the governor of Oshana, Clemence Kashuupulwa.
Another Swapo district coordinator for the Ndiyona Constituency will be relocating to the Kavango Region as an advisor. The appointees will be advising the governors on political and social issues.
Pio Nganate, who had served both as Omaheke governor and more recently Witvlei local authority chairman as a Swapo councillor, stays put in the region, but with more clout as special advisor to Laura McLeod, governor of Omaheke.
Rosalia Mwadhina-Sibiya, also a former Swapo MP in the National Council, has been thrown another political lifeline as advisor to the Otjozondjupa governor.
A well-known Damara-Nama translator at Swapo public meetings and co-ordinator for the Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme under the National Planning Commission, Moses !Omeb, is also among the group and will be Khomas governor Samuel Nuuyoma’s right-hand man.
Noah Tuhadeleni is another former Swapo National Council MP who has been appointed as advisor to the governor of Ohangwena, Usko Nghaamwa.
Former Swapo mayor of Walvis Bay, Adelheid Bobby Kandjara, remains in her region as advisor to Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua.
It is not known if the governors were consulted on the appointments, but The Namibian has been informed that some of them are not impressed with their advisors, who will be with them for the next three years.
Other advisors are Hosea Namupala for Oshikoto, Fillipus Kashima (former coordinator of Swapo Elders Council in Omusati) for Omusati, Kenatjironga Muharukua for Kunene and Ignatius Nkunga for Caprivi.