WINDHOEK, 25 APR – At the apex of a hotly contested race to control the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) is Utjiua Miunjangue, who intends to become the first female to lead a political formation in Namibia.
Muinjangue is indeed a force to be reckoned with in Namibia’s male-dominated political arena.
From the outset, Miunjangue firmly stated that she wants to be a point of reference in Namibia, and by extension, southern Africa.
“I want to prove to the community that tends to be so patriarchal that a woman can also lead a political party,” she said in a recent interview with Nampa.
Irrespective of the congress outcome, her contestation in itself is a breakthrough for Namibian women.
Should she emerge victorious when Nudo elects its new leadership between 25 and 26 May 2018, Muinjangue’s immediate assignment is to give a voice to the party.
“At the moment, the party is faceless and voiceless under the current leadership. I don’t know what the leadership is doing; you hardly see them, you hardly hear them. You see other parties in the newspapers or in Parliament. But where is Nudo? Maybe they have become too comfortable,” she asserted.
Giving an example of the Nudo she wants to see, Muinjangue said: “If you are a boxer, you box in the ring. If you are footballer, you play on the soccer field. If you are a politician, your platform is Parliament.”
Muinjangue also intends increasing Nudo’s membership base and its two seats in the National Assembly.
She also wants to shrug off the perception that it is a party only for Ovaherero people.
Muinjangue, however, did not shy away from the fact that indeed Nudo – like most political parties in Namibia – was founded along tribal lines.
“APP is a Kavango party. UDF is a Damara party and Swapo is predominantly an Ovambo party. Why is the Nudo-Herero thing always coming in as if it is the only party?” she queried.
In terms of policy and ideology, Muinjangue said the party was founded on the ethos of democracy and social justice across the board.
“Social justice is not only the genocide issue. Social justice is about having a community where you apply principles of equity and equality,” she said.
Miunjangue’s slate, ‘Team Nudo’, is composed of herself as the presidential candidate, Aminuis Constituency Councillor Peter Kazongominja and Windhoek Councillor Joseph Kauandenge as vice-president (VP) and secretary-general (SG), respectively.
They face stiff competition from the Vetaruhe Kandorozu-led ‘Team 100 per cent VK’, which has Kandorozu for president, academic Jekura Kavari for VP and Parliamentarian Meundju Jahanika as SG.
If Muinjangue wins at congress, she will position herself as the first female presidential candidate at the national polls in 2019.