By Kuvee Kangueehi
Former Permanent Secretary of Finance and senior lecturer at the University of Namibia (Unam), Usutuaije Maamberua, was elected the new president of Swanu on Saturday in the capital.
Maamberua was elected at the party’s fourth national congress. He replaces Rihupisa Kandando who has been at the helm of Namibia’s oldest party for the past five years.
In his acceptance speech, the new president said Swanu is a dynamic party that has a strong belief in the future of the nation.
“We also believe and trust that sooner than later, the Namibian people will elect Swanu to form a government, a government by the people and for the people.”
Maamberua said the vision of Swanu is the establishment of a society based on the solidarity and reconciliation between individuals and equal opportunity for all.
He said that the mission of the party is to become strong and bring about genuine economic liberation to all the people.
“I accept the opportunity and challenge to lead Swanu for the next five years and I am a son of the Namibian soil and as such, I am very concerned when it comes to the situation faced by the majority of our people.”
The new president said in his five-year term of office he will focus on a number of burning issues such as education, land, and reparations for genocide, health and equality.
Maamberua said since independence, people have been promised free primary education and an education system which is tailored to produce
human capital and which is relevant and absorbable by the Namibian labour market.
He noted that the current education system is contrary to the promise and is producing human capital destined for the streets and not the labour market.
Maamberua said the land issue is central to the existence of Swanu and as such Swanu will tackle the issue of resettlement and land acquisition in general.
“The dispossessed, displaced and disadvantaged should enjoy priority in our resettlement policy and efforts.”
He said Swanu, if voted into power, shall redistribute land to all the needy and shall give full assistance to the resettled farmers in the form of farm implements, schools, health facilities, credits, roads and adequate water infrastructure.
Maamberua said Swanu advocates and supports the right of the Namibian people to reparations from the Germans.
“The German authorities should know that what they did was very barbaric and genocidal and therefore Swanu demands from the German government an immediate sincere apology followed by comprehensive reparation.”
The president noted that the state of health of the Namibian people is close to their hearts in Swanu.
He said Swanu will critically study the situation and positively engage in national debate for better health.
The congress also elected a new leadership.
Maamberua will be deputised by Barend de Klerk, who is the vice-president for political affairs. The party also has a vacant portfolio for vice-president for administrative affairs.
Tangeni Iyambo was elected secretary-general. He will be deputised by Tjimbongoro Marenga. Former president.
Kandando becomes the national chairperson, while Horombi Kambaekwa is the national treasurer, deputised by Khamaster Ndukireepo.
Rukee Tjingaete was elected to the portfolio of national organisation and elections assisted by Unaani Kauami as deputy. Ratunua Katupose will hold the portfolio of publicity and information and Tjipoo Mate is the deputy.
Otjombinde Regional Councillor, Matti Ndjoze, was elected to the portfolio of external affairs and Kazandu Kauraratjo to the portfolio of cultural affairs.