Hidipo Hamutenya's morals and values have been shredded
By Asser Ntinda
Politics really makes strange bedfellows. Whoever thought that Hidipo Hamutenya, President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress, RDP, would one day dine and wine with former members of the killer insurgency unit, Koevoet, and the murderous South West Africa Territorial Force, SWATF? But he did that last weekend, strange though it may sound! The innocent victims of these killer units must be turning in their graves. And their surviving relatives must be watching in disbelief!
If reports in the media these days are anything to go by, Hidipo has really stooped so low that his morals
and values have been shredded. Having been humiliatingly defeated and disgraced by Namibians at the
polls in every election this great nation has held since his defection from SWAPO Party in November
2007, the frail politician from Odibo in Ohangwena Region has turned to former members of Koevoet
and SWATF to help pull him out of the political quagmire he clumsily and carelessly dropped himself in
on 18 November 2007 when he defected from SWAPO Party to form RDP. Namibians go to the polls in
November this year. Hidipo knows he will lose hands down. But so desperate for votes is Hidipo that he
told those ex-soldiers last weekend that Namibians had "erred" by continuing to vote for SWAPO Party.
He was quoted as having said that voting for SWAPO "is a crime." Imagine Hidipo, off all people, telling
former "makakunyas" that voting for SWAPO Party "is a crime!" Hidipo went further to urge "makakunyas"
to vote for RDP to end what he called the "jobs for comrades" slogan, allegedly practiced by SWAPO Party
Hidipo knows that this is a lie because he knows that not all members of the Public Service, the
Namibian Police, NAMPOL, the Namibian Defence Force, NDF, and employees of state-owned-enterprises
are members of SWAPO Party. When I read such craps this week, I almost concluded that Hidipo
probably enjoys watching Termundo's popular soapy, "Lies that Bind," but I also doubted whether that
was indeed the case. If "lies bind," his will not. His cheap lies expose and unpack a man out of touch with
reality. Even the "makakunyas" he was telling might have asked what had gone wrong with Hidipo's
memory. They knew that he was telling lies because some of their Koevoet/SWATF colleagues were and
are employed in Nampol, NDF and in the Public Service.
But look at this: "Vote SWAPO out during the general election in November this year so that the 'jobs
for comrades' can be done away with. Do the right thing by putting to an end the government of SWAPO
by not repeating the mistake you have been committing for the past 24 years, by now-and-then renewing
SWAPO mandate to rule." Just look at who is talking about the "jobs for comrades" slogan? Many
"makakunyas" never vote for SWAPO Party. They vote for the DTA. Just find out from DTA Vice
President, Phillemon Moongo.
As Cabinet minister from 1990 to 2004, Hidipo's performance - in every portfolio he had heldó had
never been outstanding and shiny. It had always been mediocre. At Trade and Industry, he gave us that
infamous botched PIDICO project with that Egyptian businessman. It flopped badly to create "thousands
of jobs" he was touting around and about wherever he went in the country.
Namibians, with their unsurpassed sense of humour, rechristened PIDICO to HI-PIDICO. So sloppy
and mediocre was his performance at Trade and Industry that PIDICO's tractors, which were lying idle
and turning rusty in Caprivi (now Zambezi Region), became a butt of many unpleasant savage jokes, with
Hidipo's name featuring in many of them.
It was also at Trade and Industry where Hidipo caused massive loss of jobs when he shamelessly ran
down one of Namibia's multi-million dollar post-independence development projects created to employ
thousands of jobless Namibians, mainly former freedom fighters. The collapse of the Development
Brigade Corporation, DBC, and its subsidiary, the Amalgamated Commercial Holdings, AMCOM, could
have been averted and jobs saved, had Hidipo not "unnecessarily and personally" interfered in the
management of the two entities.
These are some of the damning findings contained in the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the
activities, affairs, management and operations of the two companies. Parliament allocated N$197 million
to DBC between 1994 and 2003. Most of that money went missing under Hidipo's "watchful" eye. Now
he is bad-mouthing against the SWAPO Party government that it has "failed to create job!" Who is
The Commission was appointed by Founding President Sam Nujoma in June 2004 to inquire and
report on the usage, handling and disposal of all funds allocated to these two companies by Parliament,
as well as loans and overdrafts from foreign governments and the disposal of assets.
During the investigation, it was found that assets and property were disposed of in a haphazard way.
Cars, houses and various plots were sold at knock-down prices. The Commission found that Hidipo, as
former Trade and Industry Minister, "must bear full responsibility" for the loss of money and jobs.
Hidipo was fired as Foreign Affairs Minister by then President Nujoma in 2004. Now he has the audacity
to call on "makakunyas" to "change government" because it "did not care about the people," citing high
unemployment as the reason for changing the government!
According to the Report, Hidipo fired and appointed Board members of AMCOM, powers which he did
not have, nor did he have powers to appoint a managing director of a company registered under the
Company's Act. When he realized that he did not have such powers, Hamutenya asked for an amendment
to the Articles of Association. AMCOM's Board should have been appointed by its holding company,
the Namibia Development Corporation, NDC. He also appointed Simon Shikangala, his nephew, as
DBC Manager. Now he talks about "jobs for comrades!"
DBC businesses and projects had the potential to generate funds to sustain themselves and the holding
company, but due to mismanagement, lack of skills and business knowledge, nepotism and lack of
interest in the activities at DBC, the projects dismally failed. They became conduits of self-enrichment
and bottomless pits for loss of public funds.
"Despite the fact that DBC helped to cushion off what would have become a social and political turmoil
by containing the expectations and frustrations of ex-combatants in the short run, those charged with the
leadership and management of DBC failed to carry out their mandate as envisaged by the shareholder.
In the medium to long term, the ex-combatants, who were the targeted beneficiaries, became victims of
greed, selfishness, nepotism and corruption," the Report revealed. And all fingers point to Hidipo.
The Report said that Hidipo's interferences were unwarranted, such as the removal of Ben Siyambango
as AMCOM Managing Director, and the transfer of his functions to the then Managing Director, Issy
Namaseb, and later to NDC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abdool Aboobakar. "These appointments
were made by Hamutenya for his personal satisfaction and at the expense of government," read the
Report. "The imposition of Aboobakar as NDC Acting Chief Executive Officer to oversee the privatization
of AMCOM was highly irregular. Only the Board of Directors of NDC should have appointed the CEO
with Cabinet ratification through the line Minister."
One of the most catastrophic projects was the drilling of boreholes which fell under DBC. The drilling
of boreholes was based on a list drawn up by Hidipo himself, which he gave to DBC Management. Most
of the bed debtors are on that list. Hidipo told the Commission that he had drawn up the list "merely to
help DBC procure" businesses.
However, most of the boreholes drilled have never been paid for. Hadipo himself had a borehole drilled
at his farm at Ombuumbuu, Oshikoto Region, at a cost of N$70 000, 00. He paid N$35 000, leaving an
outstanding amount of N$35 000, 00, which by the time the Commission completed its inquiry, he had not
yet paid. DBC also built a sewerage system at his house at a cost of N$16, 368, 38. This amount had not
yet been paid by the time the Commission concluded its work.
Hidipo should know that "makakunyas" will never wheelbarrow him to State House. He should just
lick and nurse his wounds in silence. There were defectors from SWAPO Party before him. But none
among them ever lived to enjoy the rewards. If Hidipo thought he would be the first to break that record
and live to enjoy, he must really have been a fool. No wonder he now endears himself to "makakunyas."