Pohamba welcomes Hidipo's return to Swapo

09 Nov 2015 12:00pm


Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba has expressed satisfaction with the return of Hidipo Hamutenya to Swapo. Hamutenya was the founding president of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), but resigned from that party early this year amid internal party squabbles.

He re-joined the Swapo party a few months ago and was given a hero's welcome at the ruling party's headquarters in Windhoek. Speaking during the annual senior citizens? coming-together function at the Ombuga Ya Munyoko village in the Oshana Region on Sunday, Pohamba said Hamutenya has contributed significantly to Swapo.

Hamutenya was a long-time leading member of Swapo and among others served as the party's secretary for education in the 1970s. He was a member of Cabinet from Namibia's independence in 1990 to 2004. His defeat in a bid for the party's presidential nomination in 2004 is said to have initiated his departure from Swapo.

In November 2007, Hamutenya resigned from Swapo and from his seat in the National Assembly, where he had served for 17 years. In the same month he launched a new party, the RDP. Pohamba said Hamutenya had realised that he was mistaken and decided to make an honourable move by re-joining his original party (Swapo). 

"My dream last night indicated that more prominent Swapo-party members who mistakenly left Swapo, were going to re-join the party soon," the retired Namibian leader told his audience. Pohamba, who was Namibia's second president, believes Namibia has no political organisation with the capacity to dethrone Swapo in the next 20 years and even beyond.

He then encouraged the Namibian electorate to vote for the Swapo candidates in the forthcoming Regional Council and Local Authority Elections for peace, progress and prosperity on 27 November 2015.

Hamutenya and other disgruntled senior members of Swapo like Shapwa Kaukungwa, Festus Naholo, Jeremiah Nambinga (now RDP president) and Kandy Nehova left the party to form the RDP.

The RDP managed to win eight National Assembly (NA) seats during the Presidential and NA Elections in 2009, before it was reduced to just three NA seats after the last general elections.