National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) leader Esther Muinjangue has called out her detractors and political rivals who claim her acceptance of a deputy minister position in the Swapo-led government was a sign she was joining the ruling party.
Many have questioned Muinjangue’s allegiance following her appointment as deputy health minister by President Hage Geingob in March. Her appointment to the position of deputy minister also led to a decision by the Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro to relieve her from the position of chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF) in March, a position she served on since the formation of the foundation several years ago.
“I did not become a Swapo member as some political leaders are falsely and misleadingly informing Namibians as they try to score political points. I have been given an opportunity to serve the Namibians and I will do that to the best of my ability,” she said during her maiden speech in the National Assembly last week.
She said her appointment as a deputy minister from an opposition party is not the first nor last instance in Namibia. “Honourable Reggie Diergaardt entered the first Namibian parliament on the UDF ticket and served as deputy minister of sport from 1990 to 1995. The late Fanuel Kozonguizi, fondly known as Kozo, was a DTA member and he was appointed the first Ombudsman,” she said.
Rukoro also served as deputy minister of justice between 1990-1995 in the Swapo-led government while seating in parliament as leader of the Namibia National Front (NNF). He later defected to Swapo and was appointed as attorney general between 1995 and 2000. “When a person is elevated from a political party candidate, and elected by the people of this country and becomes an MP, as you and I are, he/she will represent all the citizens of this country, regardless of their political affiliation because parliament is of the people, by the people and for the people,” said Muinjangue.
“Some of us chose to rally behind Dr (Panduleni) Itula, readily waiting for him to win the presidential election so that we could serve in his government. Tell me the difference between a Swapo-led government under the presidency of Dr Itula and a Swapo-led government under the presidency of Dr Geingob,” she probed.
“When people throw you stones, it is because you are a good tree full of fruits. They see a lot of harvest in you. Do not go down to their level by throwing back the stones but throw them your fruits so the seeds of yourself may inspire them to change their ways,” she concluded.