HIDIPO Hamutenya, a veteran Namibian politician and co-founding father of the Namibian Constitution was laid to rest this weekend at the Heroes Acre – a privilege bestowed to a few political figures who have made extraordinary deeds and contributions to make our country what it is.
Tributes – mostly positive and half-hearted messages poured in from former friends and foes who had admonished him as an imperialist and tribalist shortly before he was forced out of Swapo to form the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).
Ironically, HH’s “positive attributes” came to be realised – even by his former foes – when he was laid to rest this past weekend.
Let bygones be bygones and enable his legacy unite us as Namibians because the scars of the “victimisation and witch-hunt” he suffered, continues to affect his family, friends, political associates and people who were known to ideologically sympathise with him.
In the run-up to Hamutenya’s nomination as Swapo’s presidential candidate at the party’s congress in May 2004 a political witch-hunt followed him; the fermentation of tribal cliques spearheaded by the mysterious Ananias Nghifitikeko began.
Since the Congress of May 2004 Nghifitikeko issued 12 malicious email letters targeting Hamutenya, his political and business associates, various media figures and an assortment of political commentators.
Swapo political stalwart and former Speaker of the National Assembly Mose Tjitendero who nominated Hamutenya as Swapo party presidential candidate also suffered victimisation and later died after a stroke.
More people, mostly skilled technocrats and educated labourers who were victimised because of their alliance with Hamutenya lost their jobs in the civil service and turned to alcoholism as a result.
A senior Government Minister and her aide were suspected to be behind the Nghifitikeko smear campaign but Swapo conveniently never dared to investigate the source of the Nghifitikeko letters.
In spite of disappearing from our political landscape, the mysterious Nghifitikeko left permanent scars by causing disunity within Swapo, if not the whole country at large.
The Nghifitikeko ghost however seems to have exposed themselves judging from notable absentees of senior political figures at Hamutenya’s memorial and burial service.
Hamutenya eventually became a victim by exercising his democratic right to form his own political party as it ignited tension beyond boiling point when he left the ruling party.
Hamutenya’s legacy should help to heal the wounds of tribalism that damaged Swapo by tolerating dissenting views from within the party. Different thoughts and ideas can only strengthen the party’s political machinery rather than weaken it. Let Swapo put in place a deliberate programme to inculcate a political consciousness, particularly at grassroots level, that we are first and foremost a non-racial Namibian society before we belong to our tribal villages.
HH’s legacy must help us build a formidable Namibian identity and never to allow self-serving politicians to divide our country.
Let’s reverse the damages done to our society by disunity because Namibia as a small country cannot afford a tribal purge.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015