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Rear-Admiral Peter Hafeni Vilho, born on 02 February 1962 in Windhoek, Khomas Region, is the current Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence since 1st September 2017.

Prior to his appointment he occupied the following positions: 

  • 2007 - 2017: Navy Commander (Rear Admiral).
  • 2004           : Navy Commander (Commodore).
  • 2002           : Commander NDF Maritime Wing with a rank of Captain (Navy).
  • 2001           : Deputy Commander NDF Maritime Wing (Commander).
  • 1998           : Chief of Staff NDF Maritime Wing.
  • 1995           : Staff Officer grade2 (SO2) Operations and Training Army Headquarters (Major).
  • 1993           : Chief Paymaster Army Headquarters (Major).
  • 1990           : Paymaster 125 Battalion (Captain).
  • 1984-1989 : Engineer Company Commander and Anti-tank Battery Commander at the Northern Front and Striking Unit.
  • 1983-1984  : Engineer Instructor at the Tobias Hainyeko Training Centre, Lubango, Angola. 

Rear-Admiral Peter Hafeni Vilho joined the South-west Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) in exile in 1977. In 1981, he joined the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and trained as a Combat Engineer in 1982. 

He attended the Finance Officer Advanced Course and Resource Management Course at Ford Benning, USA from 1990 to 1992. He completed the Junior Staff and Command Course (BMATT) in 1994.

As part of the pioneering group for the Establishment of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) Maritime Wing, he attended the Naval Officers Formation Course at the Naval College in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 1995 to 1998. 

In 2005, Rear Admiral Vilho attended the Advanced Course on Politics and Strategy at the National War College in Brazil. He successfully completed a Master of Business Administration at the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands in 2007.

Rear Admiral Vilho has the following decorations and medals:

  • Order of the Eagle 3rd Class – Government of the Republic of Namibia
  • Commendation Medal 1st Class – Namibian Defence Force
  • Ten Year Service Medal – Namibian Defence Force
  • Southern Cross Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Navy Pioneers Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Navy Cross Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Gold Star Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Sacharia Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Achievement Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Ten Year Service – Namibian Navy
  • 750 Days  at Sea Service Medal – Namibian Navy
  • Order of Naval Merit (Grand Officer) Medal – Brazilian Navy
  • Medal of Merit “Tamandare” – Brazilian Navy.

The Permanent Secretary is the Chief Accounting Officer of the Ministry and is responsible, among other things, for inter-departmental liaison and administration to enhance legislative and control of the Ministry. He/She is the principal policy advisor to the Minister, and all civilian employees of the Ministry fall under his/her control.


The Permanent Secretary is responsible for the financial, administrative and political aspects of defence policy and its execution. As Accounting Officer, he/she is personally responsible to the Minister and to the National Assembly for the financial propriety and regularity of MOD business and for its prudent and efficient administration.

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Rear-Admiral  Peter Hafeni Vilho

Permanent Secretary