Windhoek – President Hage Geingob has relieved Bernard Haufiku as Minister of Health and Social Services, replacing him with Dr Kalumbi Shangula.
Haufiku will now serve as the Special Adviser for Health and Social Services in the Presidency at the Office of the Vice President.
This was announced in a media statement issued by State House Press Secretary, Alfredo Hengari on Wednesday.
This also means that Haufiku will no longer be a member of the National Assembly (NA) when it resumes business next year.
“The appointment as a Special Advisor is through mutual accord,” the statement said.
Last month, Geingob promised to deal with Haufiku at a Swapo-Party Central Committee meeting here, after Haufiku in an interview that appeared in a local daily newspaper, accused his appointing authority of interfering with his ministry’s affairs.
Haufiku’s ousting comes at a time when several Swapo Party members of parliament (MPs) have complained about senior party members criticising the party or government at public platforms.
Geingob said at the same meeting that some of his minister needed an induction.
“They don’t even know. Look at what they are talking around. I was shocked to hear (what the) minister of health said. We will deal with it at a different level,” Geingob promised at the time.
In October, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare minister, Zephania Kameeta wanted his counterpart and Public Enterprises Deputy Minister, Veikko Nekundi reprimanded for criticising government’s operations.
Contrary to that, the speaker of the NA, Peter Katjavivi came to the defence of Swapo MPs, saying that they were not barred on speaking their minds, as long as it is in the nation’s interest.
Haufiku is the third minister to be relieved of his duties by Geingob this year, alongside former home affairs minister, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and sports, youth and national services minister, Jerry Ekandjo.
Iivula-Ithana and Ekandjo, however, retained their positions as MPs.
Shangula, who is the Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Namibia’s Hage Geingob Campus, was sworn-in as an MP in the National Assembly on Thursday and took his oath of office immediately thereafter at State House. ‑ Nampa