UPDATE: Hamutenya says he re-joined Swapo because of Geingob

27 Aug 2015 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 AUG (NAMPA) – “I am back at Swapo, the party where I spent the better part of my life selflessly.”
This was said by Hidipo Hamutenya, former President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) when he re-joined the Swapo Party on Thursday.
Speaking at the Swapo headquarters, Hamutenya made the announcement that he is re-joining the ruling party – eight years after he resigned from Swapo and Parliament, saying the party has lost its vision and focus.
Hamutenya, his son Lineekela (‘Kella’) and Norah Apollus received their Swapo Party membership cards.
He indicated that he is re-joining Swapo because the ruling party is once again the all-inclusive party it used to be, where a spirit of unity and comradeship prevailed.
“I cut my political teeth and matured in Swapo. This organisation educated me, shaped me and gave me direction,” he said to thunderous applause.
Hamutenya has previously said Swapo has stagnated and new ideas and debates were being stifled, forcing him to move on after being part of the party for 45 years.
“I feel that I can no longer be part of a team that has lost its vision and focus,” he was quoted as saying when he announced his resignation from the ruling Party.
During the announcement, Hamutenya flanked by Swapo Secretary-General Nangolo Mbumba, and Swapo Party Elders Council Secretary Mukwaita Shanyengana, indicated that Swapo is closely associated with his personal history and that of his family, and that can never be taken away.
“It is for these reasons I have decided to re-join Swapo. This is the legacy of my children and grandchildren,” he stated.
He said his political commitment to the liberation of Namibia gave him a sense of purpose from which he never wavered.
“We served independent Namibia and her people with equal determination and commitment, often to the detriment of spending quality time with our families,” he said.
Hamutenya explained that his political life and dedication to both Namibia and Swapo would surely have continued in this manner had it not been for “certain events and machinations” that would rock the party.
Hamutenya was fired as Foreign Affairs Minister in 2004, when he decided to contest the country's presidency, against then President Sam Nujoma's chosen candidate for presidency Hifikepunye Pohamba, and former Prime Minister Nahas Angula.
On Thursday he explained that the situation was untenable and the logical next step was to leave Swapo because he felt he had no future there and the leadership at that time made that quite clear to him.
“I am happy to say that Swapo is once again the all-inclusive party it used to be. The new enlightened leadership, under the leadership of my good friend and brother Hage Geingob, has gone a long way in restoring my confidence in this great party,” he stated.
Last month, President Geingob invited Hamutenya and former Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab for dinner at the President's Residency.
The three were originally known as the 'Swapo Trio' during the liberation struggle as they served in various capacities to petition for the independence of Namibia. They are all drafters of the Namibian Constitution.
In 2004, Hamutenya was nominated as one of three Swapo candidates for the presidential elections and was, at the same time, fired from the Swapo government.
In November 2007, he resigned from Swapo and from his seat in the National Assembly, where he had served for 17 years.
On 17 November 2007, RDP was launched and Hamutenya appointed as its interim president.
He was subsequently unanimously elected as the RDP President at its first convention in December 2008.
(NAMPA)
MMT/AS/CT