UPDATE: Hamutenya re-joining Swapo a "welcome move"

27 Aug 2015 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 27 AUG (NAMPA) – Namibian political analyst, Hoze Riruako described the decision taken by Hidipo Hamutenya, former President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) to re-join the Swapo Party as a “welcomed move.”
He said Hamutenya re-joining Swapo will not change and make a difference in Swapo's popularity, but his presence in the ruling party will close the void that some Swapo members felt during his absence.
“The move will put the soul of Hamutenya to rest as he served the ruling party in various capacities; as a liberator, intellectual and politician,” said Riruako in an interview with Nampa on Thursday.
He said Hamutenya's shift Swapo will weaken the RDP, as many people who supported him will follow suit.
“We are expecting an exodus of people (hamutenya's followers) to join or re-join Swapo, and this will weaken and negatively affect the RDP,” he said.
Riruako applauded President Hage Geingob for being accommodative in the proverbial “Namibian House.”
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.
“I applaud the efforts of the current President behind the scenes, which probably influenced the decision by Hamutenya,” he said.
Riruako also indicated that many people who left Swapo earlier are now feeling at ease, as they know that the current president of Namibia is accommodative.
“I am back at Swapo, the party where I spent the better part of my life selflessly,” said Hamutenya, 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 a thunderous applause.
In 2004, Hamutenya was nominated as one of three Swapo candidates for the presidential elections and was, at the same time, fired from 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 party president.
He was subsequently unanimously elected as the RDP President at its first convention in December 2008.
(NAMPA)
MMT/CT/LI