Hanse-Himarwa resigns as Education Minister amid graft charges
The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, in a letter sent to the media on 9 July, said she has requested to be relieved of her duties as Minister with immediate effect.
This comes a day after High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg convicted her on a charge of corruptly using her former position as Governor of Hardap Region to make changes to a list of people selected to receive houses built in Mariental under the mass housing development programme in 2014.
Hanse-Himarwa said while she intends to exercise her full legal rights, following the verdict, she understands the seriousness of the conviction and thus remain mindful of President Hage Geingob’s strong views on transparency and accountability.
“I wish to thank President Hage Geingob for his forthright and principled leadership. Serving in his Cabinet has 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,” Hanse-Himarwa said.
Further expressing immense pride for the achievements of the ministry under her rule, Hanse-Himarwa stressed that due to a committed and hard-working team, the ministry managed to establish a ministerial culture where mutual respect, co-operation and a singular pursuit of bridging the gaps in the basic education system prevailed.
“I sincerely thank each and every staff member of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for their support and I urge them to remain focused and determined to achieve our shared dream of improving the quality of education in Namibia for all our children,” Hanse-Himarwa concluded.
The Minister who remains free on a warning from the court will return to the dock on 24 July for the start of a presentence hearing.
Meanwhile H.E President Hage Geingob in a statement late Tuesday accepted the resignation of Minister and commended her for the decision she took by accepting to live up to her responsibility by respecting the rule of law and the institutions of Namibia.