Eventful tenure

Highs and lows

17 May 2020 | Government

Swakopmund


Former Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua bid farewell to his office after almost a decade in the hot seat.

Mutjavikua, who officially handed over the reins to newly appointed governor Neville Andre, spoke frankly about the highs and lows of his illustrious tenure as governor of the Erongo region.

“I am a person who does not beat around the bush. Many people will welcome me moving on, while others may be sad to see me go. Some, especially those who prefer to live in a comfort zone, will say it’s good that I am gone.”

Mutjavikua was appointed by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba on 27 November 2010.

“I received a call from president Pohamba, who instructed me to meet him. I did not know what it was about. I arrived there and after a short discussion, he informed me that I was appointed as the governor of the Erongo region.”

Mutjavikua said his appointment baffled him as he was more of an administrator than a politician. Despite this, he accepted the challenge.

He described his tenure as “very interesting” and said it came with many challenges as well as successes. “It was not easy. I was welcomed and soon discovered that the Erongo region is not a comfort zone.”

Challenges

According to Mutjavikua, the region is facing myriad difficulties.

“One of the biggest challenges is that our people live in squatter camps. Many are still constructing houses using material that is prone to easily burn. I never took this issue lightly. I am a bit disappointed and regret that I am leaving with this challenge not adequately attended to. As a person who likes to work for the people, I do not feel that I completed the business I set out to complete.”

The other area of concern for him as a governor was the availability of water for residents. “We have a scarcity of water in the region. When there is no rain in some areas, we have to transport water there by trucks. Like for Omatjete, it’s the norm to transport water from Okombahe every day. The provision of potable water in this particular area is another challenge I’m leaving for the capable hands of my incoming colleague.”

Mutjavikua advised his successor to look at how to address the aforementioned issues as a matter of urgency.

“It has always been our position to have a water supply pipeline from the desalination plant stretching from the coast to Omaruru.”

Mutjavikua added that he pushed hard for the desalination plant to be funded to provide more water.

“Water is a challenge, even for the mines, and this issue must be addressed.”

He is also of the opinion that there is ample fertile land along the route to Omaruru, which can be used to establish green schemes.

“I know various studies have been done on the viability of such a project. The one by KFW for example, has some shortcomings. I sincerely hope that my colleague will take it up and ensure that the region has sufficient and cheap water.”

In his various state of the region addresses, Mutjavikua consistently raised the issue of the liberalisation of the water industry.

“Fortunately, the electricity industry has been liberalised. A new law was passed recently allowing more people to generate electricity, but the water industry is not yet there.”

Highlights

Mutjavikua hailed the fact that the Erongo region was the biggest recipient of Namibia’s capital budget for the past 10 years as one of his biggest achievements as a governor.

“The lion’s share of our capital budget was spent in the Erongo region. Namibians are talking about the container terminal at Namport. This was the first ‘fancy’ project. But it didn’t just happen. There were many challenges and it required a lot of interaction. Coupled with Namport, there is the north port, the oil jetty and the fuel storage tank farm.”

He thanked former Namport CEO Bisey Uirab for navigating the way and for always being cordial and maintaining his cool until the project was up and running.

“That is our contribution to the collective. In civil service, you don’t achieve alone, you achieve in the collective.”

The region also did not have an international airport when Mutjavikua began his first term as governor.

“We worked around that as a collective and today we have an international airport. This facility must be kept busy and we must get more tourists to pass through that entrance. Now, with the Corona issue, tourism will have to overcome many challenges.”

Various stretches of road were also upgraded.

“We had many discussions and planning sessions with officials from the Roads Authority on the way forward and dealt with workers issues. The Swakopmund – Henties Bay road is going to reach Uis within the next couple of months. We also have a 4-lanes carriageway behind Dune 7. When entering Swakopmund you can see that the face of the town has changed completely. We really delivered on some of the capital projects in our region.”

Mutjavikua was also full of praise for the education sector in the region. “Erongo remains in the top 3. The teachers and leadership of education made us extremely proud and enabled the region to achieve a lot. I hope they will keep it up.”

According to Mutjavikua, the health sector and facilities of the region is also setting the pace compared to that of other regions. “I told the minister of health that apart from some challenges at the Walvis Bay hospital, that we have some of the cleanest public health institutions.”

What’s next?

The former governor says he will now find some time for himself. “I will find time for my wife and my children. Very often if you don’t pay attention to them, they will walk a different road. They will keep me very busy.”

Mutjavikua also says he plans on going into business.

“I come from the private sector. I have a few ideas and ventures which are currently running and will focus on them. Erongo is a commercial region, therefore I will be visiting often – as a farmer, businessperson and just to relax. I want to come and sit at the sea without any pre-occupation. Should the president or Swapo feel that they want to deploy me somewhere else, I will definitely comply as a cadre.”

The new governor

Mutjavikua describes the incoming governor an energetic person.

“We already had some telephonic discussions and we will interact a lot. I am available to provide some guidance. I am also going to assist him where he requires help with work that is in progress.”

He asked that the people of the Erongo region render Andre the same co-operation they rendered to him.

"He is young with fresh ideas, so let’s give him the necessary support. I will partially reside in Swakopmund. This means that I will fall under him as my governor. That is the future.”

Similar News

 

Covid-19 restrictions remain as is

1 week ago - 31 July 2020 | Government

President Geingob announced that the current Covid-19 stage 3 level of restriction applicable to the Erongo region and the special dispensation for the local authority...

Cabinet directs ministries to help in Covid-19 fight

1 week ago - 28 July 2020 | Government

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The minister of information, communication and technology (MICT) Peya Mushelenga announced a number of cabinet decisions pertaining to the...

Lockdown measures remain as is

1 month - 06 July 2020 | Government

President Geingob announced that the current applicable Stage 4 Covid-19 lockdown measures will be maintained for all 13 regions with the exception of the...

Erongo moves to Stage 3

1 month - 22 June 2020 | Government

The Stage 1 lockdown of the Erongo region lapses at midnight tonight, while the other 13 regions are due to migrate from Stage 3 to...

No increase on water and related services

1 month - 21 June 2020 | Government

Walvis Bay •[email protected] The Walvis Bay municipality announced average tariff adjustments at an extra-ordinary council meeting. Councillor Lilo Niilenge, the chairperson of the management committee,...

GUIDELINES FOR 14-DAY LOCKDOWN OF ERONGO REGION

2 months ago - 08 June 2020 | Government

1. When will the lockdown come into force? 1.1 The lockdown will begin at 23:59 on Monday 8 June 2020 until 23:59 on...

Erongo remains in Stage 1 lockdown

2 months ago - 08 June 2020 | Government

Government is working hard to avoid imposing national lockdowns by effecting prompt and targeted localized interventions. According to President Hage Geingob, Namibia has not defeated...

Traditional authorities doing their bit

3 months ago - 28 April 2020 | Government

Swakopmund • [email protected] The governor of the Erongo region, Neville Andre, is pleased with the response and efforts of traditional authorities to curb the...

Travel restrictions eased for councillors

3 months ago - 28 April 2020 | Government

Okombahe • Adolf Kaure The Secretary of Cabinet and chairperson of the National Disaster Risk Management Committee, George Simataa, amended State of Emergency Covid-19...

Grant still unreachable for many

3 months ago - 26 April 2020 | Government

Walvis Bay •[email protected] Hundreds of people were told to go home on Friday after queuing at the Kuisebmond stadium.A large crowd gathered to...

Latest News

Andre wants hospital stigma to...

1 hour ago | Health

Swakopmund • [email protected] Erongo governor Neville Andre has called on the public to stop stigmatising hospitals at the coast due to the Covid-19 pandemic.“It...

Slight decline in Walvis Bay...

1 hour ago | Health

Fifty new positive Covid-19 cases were recorded in the country, announced Ben Nangombe, the executive director of the ministry of health and social services toady....

Another Covid-19 death, 150 new...

1 day - 07 August 2020 | Health

One death, a record number of 150 new positive Covid-19 cases, and 12 new recoveries (seven from Walvis Bay and five from Windhoek) were announced...

Rape accused denied bail

2 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Crime

Swakopmund • [email protected] Bail was denied to Desmond Derrick Fick (61), who made his first appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court today as the...

Three more Covid-19 deaths

2 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Health

Three more Covid-19 related deaths were announced by the minister of health and social services Dr Kalumbi Shangula today. Two of the deceased are...

Dubz thrilled about SYMLAFA nod

2 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Swakopmund • [email protected] Well-known radio presenter Wilzahn Gelderbloem (26) also known as “Dubz”, was nominated for the 2020 Simply You Magazine Lifestyle and...

Celebrating 250 years of Beethoven...

2 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Art and Entertainment

The German Embassy in Windhoek will present a classical concert by Namibian musicians Galilei Njembo (tenor/baritone), Trudy Gertze (soprano) and Ruzanna Mnatsakanyan (piano)...

Coastal residents demand an end...

2 days ago - 06 August 2020 | Local News

Walvis Bay • [email protected] Coastal residents once again took their plight to the streets.Residents from Walvis Bay staged a protest against the ongoing lockdown and...

NAMAs go online

3 days ago - 05 August 2020 | Art and Entertainment

The 10th Namibian Annual Music Awards will kick off soon, but this time live and online!Up for grabs is a total of N$1.2 million that...

Load More