By Eliaser Ndeyanale
SWANU leader Usutuaije Maamberua Tuesday this week said he will retire from active politics early this year.
In an exclusive interview with Confidente, Maamberua who is the leader of the oldest political party in Namibia, formed in 1959 by Fanuel Jariretundu Kozonguizi said that he will not defend his position in the party when a new leadership is elected in April.
He said his decision to step down is in line with the country’s Constitution which allows the president to serve two terms.“I will not contest for an elective post in the party’s congress. Having, served as party president for 10 years, I have decided to exit the political arena so that I can pave way for a new leader to take up from where I have left,” said Maamberua. Maamberua who is a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance was elected as Swanu president at the party’s elective congress in 2007. He replaced Rihupisa Kandando, who held the post for five years.
He said during his time as party president, Swanu managed to get a Parliamentary seat; adding that he had established branches across the country.
“We didn’t have representatives in the former Ovamboland, Katima Mulilo, Kongola, Keetmanshoop and Gibeon but when I took over, I spread the party across the country’s political spectrum,” he said.
Asked if he would represent the party in the National Assembly, Maamberua said that will be decided by the party.
“The party will decide if I will continue to be an MP or the new president will represent the party in Parliament.
“We are going to start with our campaign already. We will also start posing important questions and motions in the National Assembly as preparation for the 2019 national elections,” he said.
Swanu under Maamberua has been an advocate for the German government to recognise attempted extermination of the Hereros and Namas in Namibia in 1904-07 under the German colonial rule which is largely ignored by Germans, as genocide, as well as symbolic and material reparations.
Despite previous attempts to deal with the horrific crimes, 111 years on the German government’s position on the matter remains murky.
OvaHerero and Nama, led by Samuel Maharero and Nama captain Hendrik Witbooi, rebelled against German colonial rule in 1904. At the time about 100 000 people died after they rebelled against a campaign led by Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha
Studies suggest that colonial rulers placed captives in concentration camps, and shipped off thousands of heads belonging to the dead to Berlin in an attempt to prove the inferiority of the defeated Namibians in now discredited medical experiments.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015