• September 28th, 2020

Rukoro, Tjihuiko cross swords over Muinjangue appointment

The appointment of National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) president Utjiua Muinjangue to the position of deputy minister of health has unleashed a storm of accusations and counter-accusations between the Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro and some of his trusted lieutenants. 

New Era understands Rukoro has been unhappy over the appointment of Muinjangue to the position of deputy minister and this allegedly led to a decision by him to relieve her from the position as the chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF) in March this year. An aggrieved Rukoro, cited “an incurable conflict of interest between her responsibilities as an effective campaigner for the genocide and reparations cause on the one hand, and her ministerial obligations on the other”. Rukoro, in a strong worded unofficial letter last week wrote to veteran politician Arnold Tjihuiko, who is his chief advisor on political and governmental affairs, accusing him of betrayal after he allegedly called various people “without the chief’s knowledge” to enquire about a meeting that reportedly discussed the removal of Muinjangue from her position as Nudo president. 

The said meeting supposedly took place at Omutukururu in the Okakarara constituency recently. “Alas, the events of the recent past seem to suggest that my trust in you was completely misplaced. 

I don’t have to elaborate here as I believe by now you know very well that, being who I am, I should be fully in the know of the betrayal game you have ran circles around me for quite some time,” Rukoro wrote to Tjihuiko. “Let me just confine myself to the latest incident which happened this week. You telephoned various people either wanting to find out about a so-called meeting of Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) chiefs that I am supposed to have convened on Sunday at Omutukururu, where allegedly a decision was taken to remove Dr Utjiua Muinjangue from her position as President of Nudo. I know that there’s a job to be done by those who have now become allies of GRN to destroy PC Rukoro, divide the OTA and weaken/hijack our people’s genocide and reparation campaign as the final objective,” reads part of Rukoro’ s letter that was circulating on WhatsApp groups over the long weekend. Responding to Rukoro’ s letter via a WhatsApp voice note, a clearly rebellious Tjihuiko questioned the betrayal the chief was referring to. 

“The GRN you are talking about is the same GRN that I served as a Nudo MP, the GRN you served as deputy minister of justice, the same GRN you also served as attorney general. So when we are talking about GRN, it should not be a bad GRN when others are appointed as deputy ministers and a good GRN when you are serving in it,” said Tjihuiko, as he shot back at Rukoro. After the country independence in 1990, Rukoro was appointed deputy minister of Justice. He served until 1995 when by then a member of Swapo, he occupied the position of attorney-general. “Were you not the one who pestered us to to lobby so that you get appointed as prime minister?  Was it not me and you that took N$100 000 and donated to [President] Geingob during his campaign? Which GRN are you talking about?” Tjihuiko further questioned.

The 68-year old further took issues with Rukoro, saying: “You are the same person that was recently en route to Otjinene to go and divide the Ovaherero leadership at Otjinene. You are the one who also talks about appointing new young Ovaherero leaders, saying the current leaders are old and they should go. I am not happy with you accusing me of things that I haven’t done. I am prepared to sit and face you at any platform as this is not my will but by the look of things, you are a different person who I don’t know anymore. Take the Ovaherero community to the promise land as you have always promised, I will not be part of the journey - I am out,” added the former Nudo veteran politician who in 2015 joined Swapo. According to Tjihuiko, Rukoro wanted the position of prime minister or vice president in the Geingob administration. Tjihuiko yesterday confirmed the widely circulated WhatsApp voice note but refused to make further comments. Rukoro’s phone was unreachable and he did not respond to a WhatsApp message sent to him even though it ticked as seen. Ovaherero Traditional Authority’s secretary general, Mutjinde Katjiua’s phone number was also not reachable at the time of going to press yesterday. Press secretary in the Presidency Alfredo Hengari yesterday also denied claims that Geingob had offered the attorney general position to Rukoro. Hengari said the President never made such an offer and urged members of the public to refrain from dragging his name into such matters. – ktjitemisa@nepc.com.na

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2020-05-05 10:19:41 | 4 months ago

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