Windhoek-The late governor of Kunene Region, Angelika Muharukwa and her husband Kenatjironga Festus Muharukwa, who died in a car accident in March 2015 played an instrumental role in the Kunene Region as far as mobilising people to join Swapo and subsequently the liberation movement.
Councilor of Opuwo Constituency Weich Mupya yesterday gave an account of the political life of Muharukwa in an interview with New Era. “Before independence, politics in Namibia was tough but more so than in the Kunene Region,” Mupya said.
He explained that between the late 1970s and early 1980s Muharukwa and her husband had to leave Kunene Region because the colonial regime authorities would not let them rest.
“Kenatjironga’s house was damaged by the then colonial forces and that forced them to leave. They settled in Arandis, where he worked in the mine and his wife was still mobilising the people of Kunene to join Swapo from Arandis,” explained Mupya.
Mupya said Muharukwa used to write letters and send them with trusted people to deliver in the Kunene Region. The letters, Mupya explained, were intended to mobilise people to join the movement.
At one point, Muharukwa and her husband moved to Windhoek, where she was actively involved in political activism.
“Her husband was a teacher in Gibeon. When you came to their house (in Windhoek) you would find politicians of note. She used to attend Swapo meetings and she participated. Many people in Kunene joined Swapo through her and her husband,” Mupya said.
The late governor would to sneak into the Kunene Region to host meetings in the mountains, where it was not easy for them to be seen, Mupya explained.
“She remained true to the call. She was a Swapo activist until 1995 when she was called to parliament. She served in different capacities until she was appointed deputy minister of gender and later governor,” Mupya added.
Post-independence, Muharukwa believed in education as a catalyst for the development of Kunene Region. “Her mission was to get Kunene Region developed,” Mupya noted.
The first school in Kunene Region opened in the late 1950s, he said. Yet, many Ovahimba people remained uneducated. This created a backlog and Muharukwa wanted to change that, Mupya said. She also fought for the development of road infrastructure, as well as hospitals.
Meanwhile, Epupa Constituency Councillor Nguzu Muharukwa described the late governor as a frank person, who had a keen interest in the development of the region.
“She was for the development of the Kunene Region. She was instrumental in advocating for the road infrastructure and she played a pivotal role in convincing traditional leaders of the importance of women empowerment,” Nguzu said.