Nujoma snubbed by cops

05 June 2019 | Local News

A trail of leaked correspondence has lifted the veil on how Founding President Sam Nujoma was snubbed after requesting that a senior female police officer head his security detail.

In a letter dated 13 November 2018, marked “strictly confidential”, Nujoma's office requested that police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga consider promoting one of his current bodyguards, Chief Inspector Wilhemina Nikanor, to head his security. This was after the retirement of his previous head of security. Nujoma's office motivated the recommendation, saying Nikanor has always displayed a high sense of security responsibility and commitment.

“As a female police officer, who works hard and is mature enough to fulfil her duties, Chief Inspector Nikanor becomes His Excellency, the Founding President's first choice to fill the vacant post of deputy commissioner.

“This would also be in line with the government's policy of gender balance at the workplace, which promotes the advancement of women,” the letter reads.

It had allegedly been preceded by a “consultation” between Ndeitunga and Nujoma's office. In his initial response, Ndeitunga's office - in a letter signed off by deputy inspector-general Anna-Marie Nainda - acknowledged receipt of Nujoma's request and suggested the matter was receiving positive consideration and that internal processes were underway. However, a few days later, the police made a dramatic U-turn in a letter dated 21 November.

“I should inform the Office of the Founding President that it is unfortunate that the recommendation was received after the said post was already filled.





The post was filled on 8 October 2018,” the second letter said.

The request by Nujoma's office came after former head of state Hifikepunye Pohamba was given the green light to shuffle his security detail after his second presidential term ended in 2015.





Nujoma's senior aide John Nauta confirmed the retirement of Deputy Commissioner Henock Kambala, but added that he was not aware of a letter.

“We are not aware of that.





Just follow it up where you got that information,” Nauta told Namibian Sun this week.

Approached for comment, Ndeitunga said it was his discretion to appoint officers, as recommended by their respective supervisors.

“I did not receive a letter from them telling me that they prefer who, but myself I appoint people that are recommended by their supervisors. For instance, if someone is going on retirement, I am advised by the seniors in that directorate as to who should follow. There are those who want to jump the queue and maybe they are not happy because they are not allowed to jump the queue,” he said. “People want to do things that are beyond their power.”

Asked whether Nujoma's office had made the request on the basis of being familiar with Nikanor and her security pedigree, Ndeitunga questioned: “Are you saying that those who were promoted were not in the division for long?”

The police chief also added there were no consultations needed before a security appointment is made.

“We normally inform them who is coming,” he said.

“The law is clear. So that is the issue; if there was anyone who was positioning himself or herself to take over that position, and unfortunately did not take it because someone else was identified and appointed, they should blame themselves. How should they position themselves?

“Or they should wait for another chance because this chance was given to another person who is also from the same VVIP directorate, not from anywhere else. And those who recommended that one to me, I have no doubt that they are honest,” Ndeitunga added.

Nainda denied knowledge of Nujoma's request, adding she is currently on leave.

“I don't know anything about that. Maybe you should just call the office of the inspector-general. I am not aware of what you are talking about,” she said.





KENYA KAMBOWE