• January 23rd, 2020

Fransina Kahungu: From classroom to mayor



WINDHOEK - New City of Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu is not only a renowned politician, but many has described her as a selfless leader who has a giving heart and passionate about uplifting the welfare of the poor.

For many years Kahungu served as a grade 1 teacher at Olof Palme Primary School in Greenwell Matongo informal settlement in Windhoek. She was an ordinary teacher from 1998 until 2005 when she was promoted to become the head of the department for the junior primary phase. 

In 2017, Kahungu left the teaching profession to concentrate on her political career. Now 49-years-old, Kahungu entered active politics while still a young girl from Omusati region where she hails. 
She started getting involved in student politics when she joined the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) while at Ombalantu Senior Secondary School. 

In 2016, she was elected as deputy secretary of the Swapo Party Women Council during its elective congress in Keetmanshoop. 

“I realised I would not be in a position to give full attention to teaching because when you are a teacher, you really need to prepare for your lesson. I realised let me focus on one field because teaching and politics at the same time, might clash,” said Kahungu who is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Geography. 

Her research topic is an analysis of urban housing land delivery in Windhoek between 2007 and 2017. 
Prior to her nomination as mayor last week, Kahungu had served as deputy mayor in 2016 and 2017 before becoming an ordinary council member.

Family life

Kahungu is from Okapanda village in the Outapi district. She came to Windhoek in 1994 to pursue a diploma in education at the University of Namibia. Kahungu is married to Professor Hina Jola Ali Muashekele and is a proud mother of four boys. 

She has a giving heart and on numerous occasions donated to families around Windhoek in her personal capacity. 

Kahungu explained she inherited a ‘spirit of giving’ from her late mother. 

“I don’t enjoy looking at another person who is suffering especially if (suffering) is caused by external factors,” she stated. 

Her giving heart earned her special praise from poor parents who could not afford school fees before the implementation of free primary education.  

“I was paying on behalf of those parents. I never allowed a child to suffer because he or she does not have a jersey. 

I made it my issue to provide a jersey to that child,” she said. Kahungu added that she also took it upon herself to look for placement for gifted learners at Olof Palme Primary School who did well in grade 7. 

After her election on Friday last week, Kahungu promised to provide basic services such as water, sanitation, shelter and electricity to the city’s informal settlements. 

On easing the massive housing backlog in Windhoek, Kahungu said the municipality has about 10 various council resolutions in place, which gave approval to public private partnerships. 

“I am of the opinion that we need to allow these companies to finish and produce serviced land so that we know how many people will get houses, how many will not get and what will be done,” she stated. 

The mayor is aware that most of the PPPs are focusing in areas such as Otjomuise, Kleine Kuppe, Auasblick and Rocky Crest, while the majority of residents were residing in the informal settlements such as Moses Garoeb, Tobias Hainyeko and Samora Machel constituencies.  
She said the focus would be on solving the housing problems in these areas. 

Collaborative effort

In addition, Kahungu said she is planning on working with various stakeholders such as the Shack Dwellers Federation and Namibian Housing Action Group. She said the majority of residents who are members of these groups are occupying those portions of un-serviced land and they have ideas on how to improve the settlement. She added it would be easy working with them as they are already established. Kahungu further said that she also wants to revive the city’s housing project. Regarding her action plan for 2020, Kahungu said she would announce it in January next year.
 


Selma Ikela
2019-12-18 11:35:21 | 1 months ago

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