Why !Gawaxab is the right man for the job

By Nkrumah Mushelenga

The appointment of Comrade Johannes !Gawaxab as Governor of the Bank of Namibia was met with diverge opinions and mixed interpretations. Some used tribal and enflaming language while others tried to convince the public that the President applied imaginary synergy to amend age requirements in favour of !Gawaxab.

Dear compatriots, ‘history is the best judge whose verdict cannot be ignored’. Comrade !Gawaxab’s personal career profile speaks volumes. In terms of academic and management records, !Gawaxab, among others, has a Master of Arts degree from Kingston School of Business in the United Kingdom, as well as Master of Business Leadership from the Graduate School of Business Leadership in South Africa.

According to an article in the local print media, his previous positions include managing director for Africa of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, group chief executive of Old Mutual Namibia, general manager of Air Namibia, as well as manager of planning and public relations at TransNamib, to mention a few.

In order to substantiate the President’s constitutional mandate to appoint !Gawaxab, allow me to quote Article 32 sub-article (ee) of the Constitution of Namibia. Among the functions, powers and duties of the President is to “appoint the following persons: (ee) any other person or persons who are required by any other provision of this Constitution or any other law to be appointed by the President”.

This constitutional directive or mandate is explicitly clear and it gave the President an opportunity to deviate from the public perception that public service appointments are only for Swapo Party political elites.

The Swapo Party Election Manifesto 2020-2025 is about “inclusive development and shared prosperity”. For the country to achieve its national developmental goal of prosperity for all, His Excellency the President declared war against underdevelopment, poverty, illiteracy and disease.

The question is, why some are critical of the appointment of Comrade !Gawaxab and not the appointment of Comrade Shiimi as minister of finance? Justifiable so, ‘history is the best judge whose verdict cannot be ignored’.

With regards to allegations on the age amendment in favour of !Gawaxab, Article 17 (2) of the Constitution gives an indication as to which age group is qualified to vote in elections and which age group is eligible to be elected to public office.

According to Article 17 (2), every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years has the right to vote and those who have reached the age of twenty (21) years are qualified to be elected to public office. There is no constitutional public age retirement limitation.

Dear compatriots, inclusive development and shared prosperity is a transformation processes characterized by the following ethical standards: wisdom, maturity, confidentiality, ability to listen, to comprehend, to inspire, convert minds into a collective harmonized stimulating harvest, and an inbuilt hope at all time. Hence, in line with the above characteristics, and based on their previous output, it is our conviction that comrades !Gawaxab and Shiimi are not liabilities but national assets.

Constitutionally, the President is Head of State and government, indeed Commander-in-Chief of the Namibia Defence Force. He is vested and blessed with the executive powers of the Republic of Namibia.  The President has the wisdom, inbuilt confidentiality, he is mature, he possesses the ability to listen, to comprehend, to inspire, and the legitimacy to convert mindsets into a synchronized output and an inbuilt hope at all time.

Dear compatriots, time is against us as a country and as a people. For a better understanding, allow me quote the late Cde. Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo and Cde. Sam Shafishune Nujoma, the two leaders once said, “The struggle will be long and bitter but my people will emerge victorious,” and “A people united for a purpose will always emerge victorious.”

The road to inclusive development and shared prosperity demands a collective approach. Our national development programme is to fight underdevelopment characterized by poverty, illiteracy and disease. How do we defeat the evil forces of exclusivity, to in unity inspire every Namibian compatriot men and women, young and elders to once and for all say ‘enough is enough’ to underdevelopment and its evil forces?

The President has given a national order to every Namibian to fight and conquer corruption, poverty, illiteracy, gender violence and disease.

Namibia is a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded upon the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all. Comrade President, your key constitutional responsibility is to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution as the supreme law, and to perform with dignity and leadership all acts necessary, expedient, reasonable and incidental to the discharge of the executive functions of the government, subject to the overriding terms of the Constitution and laws of Namibia.

Your Excellency, we are convinced and legitimately so believe that you are performing your constitutional mandate to the best of your ability and as required by the Constitution. We are all mindful of the fact that nobody is perfect and that where there is a will, there is always a way. It is a fact that perfection of a political and social-economic system can only be realized through a consolidated horizontal and vertical coordination, discipline and constructive criticism approach.

Comrade !Gawaxab, you are our national asset and we are hopeful that based on your previous international and national socio-economic achievements, our hope for a speedy realization of an inclusive development and shared prosperity is gaining momentum.

To the Namibian youths and elders: Comrades, compatriots, the President of this country who is a well-known believer in ‘One Namibia, One Nation’ declared war on poverty, illiteracy and disease. The victory against the invisible notorious enemy is overdue. We can score victory through a national collective strategic approach.

Underdevelopment: corruption, poverty, illiteracy and disease are the enemy of human existence.

Just as members of the National Assembly, directed by Article 45 to be representative of all people in performing of their duties and to be guided by the objectives of the Constitution, and in the public interest and their conscience, we are equally called upon, irrespective of political affiliations, gender, age, to through God’s blessing formulate a Namibian uniting module aimed at fighting underdevelopment.

The board, management and beneficiaries of Peter Nanyemba Veterans Trust congratulates Comrades Gawaxab and Shiimi on your respective appointments as the Governor of the Bank of Namibia and the Minister of Finance. We are of the firm conviction that this was a noble choice by President Dr. Hage Geingob and that the two are not liabilities, but social-economic assets for the country.

Comrade President of the Swapo Party, we shall forgive but not forget the barbaric Cassinga massacre of innocent women and children by the illegal South African colonial occupation and apartheid forces. May their souls rest in eternal peace. Their blood, tears and sweat water our freedom.

Nkrumah Mushelenga

Commissioner of Refugees

May God bless Namibia, the land of the brave!