Hanse-Himarwa resigns

Musa Zimunya

WINDHOEK, JULY 9 – Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has officially tendered her resignation in the wake of yesterday’s high court’s guilty verdict.

In a statement issued by the ministry today, Hanse-Himarwa said she believes all Namibians, including Public Office Bearers, have the right to a fair trial and are innocent, until proven guilty.

She added: “In light of the High Court of Namibia’s verdict yesterday, 08 July 2019, I intend to exercise my full legal rights, through the appropriate legal channels. I understand the seriousness of the conviction and I am also mindful of the President’s strong views on transparency and accountability. In this light, I herewith confirm that I have requested to be relieved of my duties as Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, with immediate effect.”

Hanse-Himarwa, who was accused of allocating houses to her relatives, made her first appearance in the High Court in April in a pre-trial session.

Namibia’s Anti-Corruption Commission had alleged that Hanse-Himarwa placed some of her relatives on a list of housing beneficiaries in Hardap Region’s Mariental town. She was governor of Hardap Region from 2005-2015, prior to her appointment as minister of education.

The former minister was accused of using her position to switch out original housing list beneficiaries in order to benefit her relatives.

She thanked President Hage Geingob for “his forthright and principled leadership,” adding that serving under him had been “an honour and a privilege, from which I have learned immense lessons. One of my observations has been a concerted effort to portray him in a negative light and dilute, disparage and diminish his leadership.”

“I apologise to both him, and the Namibian people, as I know this Conviction has been a source of disappointment and distress for many who know me. When I was appointed as Minister of Education, Arts and Culture on 20 March 2015, I took a constitutional oath to, inter-alia, uphold, defend and protect the constitution and serve the Namibian people to the best of my ability. I have upheld this constitutional oath with the conscientiousness that was required of me. This resignation is within the context of this obligation.” –