07 Oct 2016 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 07 OCT (NAMPA) The late Hidipo Hamutenya has been described as a true servant of Namibia, a patriotic leader and a man of few words.
The former Member of Parliament died at around 05h00 on Thursday at the Lady Pohamba Hospital after a long illness at the age of 77.
In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said Namibia has lost a man commendable for his calm and composed attitude and approach to life.
We lost a decent dresser but a simple person; a very approachable cadre and a son of the soil.
He said HH, as the late Hamutenya was also known, was an excellent personality, a leader of repute and an internationalist.
HH has not taken a leap backward in undoing what he has stood for together with the masses of the Namibian people. He never surrendered the cause of Namibia both before and after the independence. He has not tarnished the image of the country. He has not betrayed this country, he has not surrendered any of the principals for which we stood for as a nation.
In fact, God has come to relieve him of the agony of earthly life so that he may have his soul rest in eternal peace.
In the spirit of Harambee, Ua-Ndjarakana called all Namibians to join the Hamutenya family in mourning him befittingly because, he used his space on earth and life to serve all Namibians on an equal par.
HH was a fatherly and brotherly figure of a high calibre. He was an approachable person. An approachable person is a family man to all.
Ua-Ndjarakana said he hopes Government, led by the late Hamutenyas contribution to the Liberation Struggle, will give him a fitting tribute and homage.
We have lost a fellow citizen and a patriotic leader, who stood the test of time in bringing the nation where we are today.
The former Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) opposition party president was early last month rushed to the Ongwediva Medi-Park Hospital when he collapsed at a family wedding in the North of Namibia.
He was later airlifted to the Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek.
The late Hamutenya, who was until last year the president of the RDP, re-joined the Swapo Party when he lost his position in the opposition party.
Born on 17 June 1939 at Odibo in the Ohangwena Region, the late Hamutenya went into exile in 1961.
While in exile, he attended Sofia University in Bulgaria and Lincoln University in the United States of America where he studied Political Science and History. He was thereafter appointed as a SWAPO (then South West Africa Peoples Organisation) representative to the Americas before he left for Quebec, Canada where he studied a Masters in Political Science and Development Studies at McGill University in 1970.
From 1978 to 1989, he was part of the SWAPO negotiating team for the UN Plan on Namibian Independence and Resolution 435, which outlined the process of implementing Namibias independence from South Africa after the German colonial rule.
After independence in 1990, the late Hamutenya was appointed as Minister of Information and Broadcasting, and was significant in the establishing of several state media organs including the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), New Era newspaper and Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
In 1993 he was appointed as Minister of Trade and Industry, where his experience in and knowledge of international diplomacy had Namibia agree to the terms of the US Africa Growth and Opportunity (AGOA) Act.
The late Hamutenya served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2004, when independent Namibias white paper on the first foreign policy was formulated.
He also played a leading role in the restructuring of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2001, when he was Chairperson of SADCs Council of Ministers.
In 2003, the late Hamutenya was named African Personality of the Year by FDI magazine (owned by the London-based Financial Times) for his efforts in bringing foreign investment to Namibia.