Hidipo Hamutenya

Hidipo Hamutenya

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Hidipo L. Hamutenya is a Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

n politician. A long-time leading member of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), Hamutenya was a member of the Cabinet of Namibia
Cabinet of Namibia
The Cabinet of Namibia is an appointed body that was established by the Chapter 6 of the Constitution of Namibia. It is mandated to include the following positions:...

 from independence in 1990 to 2004. He was defeated in a bid for the party's presidential nomination in 2004 and left SWAPO to form an opposition group, the Rally for Democracy and Progress
Rally for Democracy and Progress (Namibia)
The Rally for Democracy and Progress is an opposition political party in Namibia. It was launched on November 17 2007 under the leadership of Hidipo Hamutenya and Jesaya Nyamu, both former leading members of the ruling SWAPO party and cabinet ministers. Hamutenya had unsuccessfully sought the SWAPO...

, in 2007. He was elected to the National Assembly of Namibia
National Assembly of Namibia
The National Assembly of Namibia is the lower chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It has a total of 78 members. 72 members are directly elected through a system of party-list proportional representation and serve five-year terms. Six additional members are appointed by the President.The...

 with RDP in the 2009 general election.

Hamutenya was born in Odibo, Ohangwena Region
Ohangwena Region
Ohangwena is one of the thirteen regions of Namibia. The northern and western parts of the region are the most densely populated of this essentially subsistence agricultural region in which small scale mahangu cultivation and the keeping of cattle form the predominant activities...

. His father, Aaron Hamutenya, was a founding member of SWAPO. The younger Hamutenya served as SWAPO's Representative to the Americas from 1965 to 1972 and as SWAPO's Secretary for Education from 1974 to 1976. He joined the SWAPO Politburo in August 1976, and at the same time he was a founding member of the United Nations Institute for Namibia
United Nations Institute for Namibia
The United Nations Institute for Namibia was an educational body set up by the United Nations Council for Namibia from 1976-1990. Based in Zambia's capital of Lusaka, UNIN was the brainchild of United Nations Commissioner for Namibia Seán MacBride, the proposal creating UNIN was adopted by the...

 (UNIN) in Lusaka
Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres . It has a population of about 1.7 million . It is a commercial centre as well as the centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia head...

; at the UNIN, Hamutenya was Deputy Director and Head of the History and Political Science Department from 1976 to 1981. From 1978 to 1989, he was part of SWAPO's negotiating team for the UN Plan for Namibian Independence, and he was SWAPO's Secretary of Information and Publicity from 1981 to 1991.

Immediately prior to independence, he was a SWAPO member of the Constituent Assembly, which was in place from November 1989 to March 1990, and when Namibia gained its independence in 1990, he became a member of the National Assembly
National Assembly of Namibia
The National Assembly of Namibia is the lower chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It has a total of 78 members. 72 members are directly elected through a system of party-list proportional representation and serve five-year terms. Six additional members are appointed by the President.The...

 and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. He served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting until April 15, 1993, when he was instead appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, trading posts with Ben Amathila
Ben Amathila
Ben Amathila is a semi-retired Namibian politician. Amathila served in the government of Namibia with SWAPO from independence in 1990 until his retirement from the National Assembly in April 2007...

. He remained in the latter position for nine years, until he became Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 on 27 August 2002 in a cabinet reshuffle.

Hamutenya received the 13th highest number of votes—352—in the election to the Central Committee of SWAPO at the party's August 2002 congress.
In May 2004 he sought SWAPO's nomination as its candidate for the presidential election which took place later in 2004; his candidacy was proposed by Mosé Penaani Tjitendero
Mose Penaani Tjitendero
Mose Penaani Tjitendero was a Namibian politician and educator. Born near Okahandja, Tjitendero joined the South West Africa People's Organization and was the Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia from independence on March 21, 1990 until his retirement in 2004...

 and seconded by Hartmut Ruppel. As the leadership contest was underway, Hamutenya was dismissed from his position as Foreign Minister by President Sam Nujoma
Sam Nujoma
Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma is a Namibian politician who was the first President of Namibia from 1990 to 2005. He led the South-West Africa People's Organisation in its long struggle against South African rule and took office as President when Namibia obtained independence on 21 March 1990...

 on 24 May, because Nujoma accused him of inciting division within the ranks of the party in the countries Omaheke
Omaheke
Omaheke is one of the thirteen regions of Namibia. Omaheke lies on the eastern border of Namibia and is the Western extension of the Kalahari desert. The name Omaheke is the Herero word for Sandveld. A large part of this region is known as the Sandveld...

 region. Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba is the second and current President of Namibia. He won the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections overwhelmingly as the candidate of the South West Africa People's Organisation ruling party, taking office in March 2005. He has also been the President of SWAPO since...

. In the first round of voting for the nomination, Hamutenya won 166 votes, behind Pohamba, who won 213; in the second round, on May 30, he was defeated by Pohamba, receiving 167 votes against Pohamba's 341.

Fall out with SWAPO


In November 2007, Hamutenya resigned from SWAPO and from his seat in the National Assembly, where he had served for 17 years, and on November 17, he launched a new party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress, together with another former minister, Jesaya Nyamu
Jesaya Nyamu
Jesaya Nyamu is a Namibian politician. A member of the Rally for Democracy and Progress , Nyamu was a high level member of the South West Africa People's Organization from 1964, when he fled into exile, until 2002, when he was expelled from the party for "disobedience"...

.

2009 presidential campaign


In November 2009, Hamutenya was RDP's candidate for President of Namibia. He finished in second place with 88,640 votes (10.91%) behind SWAPO candidate and incumbent President Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba is the second and current President of Namibia. He won the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections overwhelmingly as the candidate of the South West Africa People's Organisation ruling party, taking office in March 2005. He has also been the President of SWAPO since...

 (75.25%). Hamutenya was placed at the top of RDP's electoral list
Electoral list
An electoral list is a grouping of candidates for election to a post, usually in proportional election systems. An electoral list can be registered by a political party or can constitute a group of independent candidates...

and was one of eight RDP members elected to the National Assembly of Namibia.

In September 2010, Hamutenya and 8 other opposition politicians were sworn-in as members of the National Assembly following a six month boycott due to electoral irregularities in the 2009 election.