Kazenambo Kazenambo

May 20, 2013, 7:42 am

Kazenambo Kazenambo (born July 6, 1963 in Maun, Botswana) is a Namibian politician. A member of SWAPO, Kazenambo was first elected to the 4th National Assembly of Namibia in 2005. Following the election, President Pohamba appointed Kazenambo as the Deputy Minister of Regional, Local Government and Housing and Rural Development behind John Pandeni. Prior to the 2009 elections, Kazenambo was placed 9th overall out of 72 spots on the SWAPO list for the National Assembly.
Early life
Kazenambo was born in Maun, Botswana, the son of Namibian refugees. He joined SWAPO in 1979, at the age of 16. Five years later in 1984, he traveled to Angola, where he received military training. In 1986, he joined SWAPO's military wing as a combatant, People's Liberation Army of Namibia. He fought with SWAPO until 1989, when negotiations ended the Namibian War of Independence. Prior to independence, he also worked as a journalist for the Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA) and the Voice of Namibia radio program. A year later, Namibia became independent and moved to Namibia, the land of his family, where he became a journalist for Namibia Today, the official mouthpiece of the SWAPO Party. He joined government in 1992 and became an advisor to then Prime Minister Hage Geingob in 1996. A longtime member of the SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL), Kazenambo was a member of its central committee from 1991-2002.
Controversy
Kazenambo is known as a man of his words, never shy to offer his opinion. In January 2011,Windhoek police were called to separate Kazenambo and the manager of Hochland Park’s Spar Supermarket when the Minister confronted the manager regarding his alleged mistreatment of black customers. Police removed Kazenambo from the store after a heated exchange which included allegations of racism. The cabinet minister had a similar incident at the airport in Munich, Germany.
In November 2011, Kazenambo publicly accused journalist Jan Poolman of the Namibian Sun of "buffoonery of the highest order of a perverted mind" and of being a thief and added that “whites should not take reconciliation for granted”. Following which he threatened “[w]e will grab farms if they push this matter. We will push the Constitution aside if they scratch too far. Mark my words, give us time ... if they continue, we’ll also take some action to claim what is ours”. The Namibian government was criticised for treating Kazenambo with kid gloves and not reprimanding him after the outburst.
Kazenambo was responding to an article written by Poolman that Kazenambo spent N$1.7 million instead of the budgeted N$1 million to send 65 delegates to collect the skulls of some of the victims of the Herero and Namaqua Genocide of 1904-1907 from Germany.
During an interview in February 2012 with journalist Tileni Mongudhi, Kazenambo allegedly made a racist attack against his fellow ministers, calling them “stupid Owambos”, and said that Owambo people “are just like the Boers, worse because you are hungry and stupid”. Kazenambo went on to accuse Mongudhi of being part of an "Owambo conspiracy" and seized her voice recorder. The recorder was then sent to another country to get its contents professionally erased before being returned to Mongudhi's lawyer. Although the interview apparently started on a cordial note until Mongudhi asked if Kazenambo was proudly acting “more of a Herero than a national representative” in relation to the delegation he lead to Germany to retrieve Herero remains.