President Hage Geingob says he fired Dr Bernard Haufiku because of his conduct that we viewed as a distraction from the core responsibility of managing Covid-19.
Dr Haufiku, the former health minister was relieved of his duties as the special advisor on health to the presidency on Monday.
In announcing the termination of the contract, State House said that the health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula recommended to Geingob to fire Haufiku because of causing discord among the team members.
The presidency further said that Dr Haufiku was disclosing information that would have been discussed during strategic meetings with the media without prior clearance.
“President Geingob applied his mind and terminated on 30 July 2020 the appointment of Dr Bernard Haufiku as Special Advisor by virtue of the powers vested in the President by Article 32 (6) of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia,” the statement said.
This is the second time Geingob has had to let Dr Haufiku go after he recalled him from the health ministry in December 2018, giving the reason as lack of demonstrating the ethos of collective responsibility as enjoined by the Cabinet Handbook.
“Dr Haufiku continued to speak out of turn with the press, in contravention of responsibilities as a member of the Executive and the Cabinet collective,” Geingob said.
This, Geingob explained, was even after Dr Haufiku demanded his preferred Deputy Minister and Executive Director were met.
“The President deviated from the norm and practice in the appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, which are the exclusive preserve of the Head of State as per Article 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia.
“However, Dr Haufiku could not work effectively within the team and was in conflict with the Deputy Minister and the Executive Director he had requested to be onboarded,” he said.
According to Geingob, he then reassigned Dr Haufiku as the special health advisor whose extensive brief included the provision of Strategic Advice to the Minister, Deputy Minister and Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services in order to improve the public health system and service delivery.
“In carrying out this important mandate, Dr Haufiku was expected to work harmoniously with the executive team of the Ministry under the leadership of Honorable Kalumbi Shangula. It is in the continuity of the role of Special Advisor on Health Matters that Dr Haufiku was nominated as Focal Point on COVID-19 under the supervision of the Minister of Health and Social Services, who serves as the designated spokesperson on health and COVID-19 related matters,” the statement from Geingob said.