Muharukua never feared words: Sioka

05 Oct 2017 11:10am
By Anna Salkeus
WINDHOEK, 05 OCT (NAMPA) – The late Angelika Muharukua’s former colleagues in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) remember her as a mother, and woman of vision, peace and unity.
Muharukua worked as the deputy minister of Women Affairs and Child Welfare, renamed MGECW, from 2004 to 2015 and later as governor of the Kunene Region until her death on Sunday at her Windhoek home.
Gender Equality Minister, Doreen Sioko told Nampa Wednesday that Muharukua was a strong woman who stuck to her words and tried to unite Namibians.
“She never feared words, whether it was broken English or correct English; she would force it into you until you get it,” Sioka said.
The minister remembered one conference where Muharukua said “women are being vandalised by men”.
“At the time, the killing of women was just too much and she referred to it as vandalism instead of killing,” she said.
Sioka said Muharukua confronted issues without fear, and had a strong stance on issues of women and was often anxious to involve women from her community in the Kunene Region.
She added that the late governor preached peace and unity in the ruling party.
While serving as deputy minister, Muharukua would gather street children and sit with them in her office.
The last encounter Sioka had with Muharukua was during Heroes’ Day celebrations at Oshakati on 26 August.
“She came and kissed me on the lips. She later went to the field to dance with Bullet jaKaoko and I yelled, ‘Dance Muharukua, dance!’ Little did I know I was saying goodbye”.
Sioka said the late governor was a veteran Swapo member and often warmed up to those who referred to her as “comrade”.
Another former colleague, Deputy Director for Child Welfare Services in MGECW, Joyce Nakuta said while holding the portfolio of deputy minister, Muharukua was aware that she was representing a minority group, women who are discriminated against, people who are disadvantaged, and people who do not claim the same position in society as others.
According to Nakuta, Muharukua was an advocate for unity and would make employees in the then Women Affairs ministry sing a popular hymn called ‘Together we can make it’, after which she would exclaim, “One Namibia, One nation”.
“She loved Namibia. In the workplace, she was someone who would encourage us as women in terms of leadership, and would make sure that we are not afraid to stand up for what is right,” said Nakuta.
She added that Muharukua knew her own limitations but was also aware of her leadership qualities; she was the only person who could represent women from her own background.
Nakuta said Muharukua understood her role within communities and could respectfully address different societies.
The former colleague further chronicled how Muharukua always felt that more could be done to empower the Namibian girl child.
“In the ministry I was one of her daughters. I will remember her as someone who was striving to raise people above the level they were,” Nakuta said.
Muharukau will be buried at Heroes’ Acre on 14 October.