Respected Lutheran Leader Takes Seat in Namibian Cabinet

Bishop emeritus Dr Zephania Kameeta. Photo: LWF/H. Martinussen
Bishop emeritus Dr Zephania Kameeta. Photo: LWF/H. Martinussen

The 25th anniversary of Namibian independence on March 21 saw the appointment of a prominent Lutheran figure to the state cabinet.

Bishop emeritus Dr Zephania Kameeta, a long-time advocate of the rights of disadvantaged and poor Namibians, was appointed by president Hage Geingob as Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.

Namibia has strong ties to Lutheranism and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has three member churches in the country. In May 2017, LWF member churches in Namibia will host the largest gathering of Lutherans, the general assembly of the Lutheran World Federation.

Acclaimed for his efforts to eradicate the widespread poverty in the country, Kameeta is a strong proponent of cash distribution schemes, notably Namibia’s Basic Income Grant, which is designed to reduce poverty and inequality.

The LWF stood in solidarity with Namibia during its independence struggle. In addition to being the first major denominational body to renounce apartheid as a matter of faith, the LWF supported refugees fleeing the country, provided hundreds of scholarships for Namibians who otherwise did not have access to higher education, acted as a source of information about the situation in Namibia, and helped refugees repatriate after 1990.

Kameeta, 69, is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia and serves on the LWF Council. He talks to LWI about his views on the future of his country.

Watch Video Interview of Bishop Kameeta