Veteran politician Hidipo Hamutenya dies at age 77 after short illness

Veteran Namibian politician, Hidipo Hamutenya, passed away in a Windhoek medical facility early yesterday morning after falling ill in Namibia’s north some weeks ago. He was 77 years old.

Hamutenya was a well known political and public figure in Walvis Bay, where he spearheaded the Walvis Bay Export Processing Zone concept in his tenure as Minister of Trade and Industry almost two decades ago. He was honoured in Walvis Bay with a street named after him.
Hamutenya was born on 17 June 1939 in the Onhangwena Region and was exiled during the liberation struggle. He received his tertiary education in Bulgaria, Canada and the United States.
Top ranking Government officials led by Prime Minister Nickey Iyambo as well as Swapo high ranking officials reportedly visited the Hamutenya residence in Windhoek’s Olympia yesterday to comfort the bereaved family.
Hamutenya made political upheavals in the second part of the new millennium when he left the Swapo party and founded the Rally for Democracy and Progress which performed well as a fledgling party in its first elections in 2009 by becoming the official opposition with 11,31 % of the vote against Swapo’s 75,27 %
The RDP’s rapid advance was followed by an equal rapid plummet in the 2014 elections when it failed to make any inroads and lost the title of Official Opposition to the DTA of Namibia by attracting 3,51 % of the vote against Swapo’s 80,01%
Hamutenya rejoined Swapo after the 2014 election defeat.
Ironically, the DTA of Namibia was the first political party yesterday to issue a statement after the news broke of Hamutenya’s death.
“Hidipo’s legacy will reverberate in the echoes of time and everything that he sacrificed and has done for this country will never be forgotten. From the sacrifices he made during the liberation struggle by going into exile in Zambia and other countries, to persistently petitioning the UN for Namibia’s independence, to being one of the members of the Constituent Assembly who wrote the Constitution of this country, to serving as a Member of Cabinet and Minister in various ministries and as a believer in the importance of a multi-party democracy being one of the founders of the RDP and serving as the Leader of the then Official Opposition – these are just some of the hallmarks of the great legacy that has been left behind by a brave son of the soil.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login