They say your good deeds are only remembered once you are no more and for as long as you are alive, everyone digs for the wrong turns you took. Hidipo Hamutenya’s departure from earth yesterday is another testimony to that, those who loathed him when he dumped Swapo were the ones singing his praises when the news broke that he is no more. Despite his political misfortunes that saw many comrades in Swapo shunning him, even upon his return to the Swapo fold last year, HH’s immense contribution to this country cannot be disputed.
After all, in Parliament he served all Namibians for a good 24 years of his life. When you add on the 30 something years he spent in exile to deliver Namibia’s political freedom, it tells us that he gave more than 50 years to his motherland. Those claiming that he must not receive a Heroes or State funeral are mostly Swapo comrades who refuse to shake off the 2004 Congress dust. HH served Namibia, not only Swapo. Therefore Namibians should not be misled by those in the ruling party opposing a befitting send off for HH. What HH did in Swapo is none of our business, however, what he did in Government has everything to do with us. This is the only way Namibians can truly say…HH thank you for serving your country selflessly. We do not want party politics to spill over to state affairs, Comrades.
HH served in three ministerial positions during his 24 years in Government and is loosely anointed as the founding father of Namibian media for the role he played in the birth of media in an independent Namibia. He served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting for nearly three years, a period which saw him oversee the establishment of our state media. Politics is a dirty game, HH got to learn it the hard way when he formed RDP. Some of his friends remained while others would only meet him in the dark fearing that they might be accused of supporting his newfound political home in RDP. It is funny to note that those who have sought to erase all the good HH has done for this country during his time in Government when he left Swapo, are the ones shamelessly shedding tears. Politics is surely a game of hypocrites, no wonder the saying: “In politics there are no permanent enemies and there are also no permanent friends.” The situation dictates who a politicians associates with and one can perhaps conclude that politics is a game of no principles.
His stint at the then Foreign Affairs ministry can also not be overlooked. He was awarded the African Personality of the Year (2003), awarded by fDi, a subsidiary of the Financial Times for “his efforts to bring in foreign investment” during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs. To this date our Foreign Policy premised on economic diplomacy is his brain child. Upon his return to the party last year, He said: “Yes indeed, I am back. Back to Swapo, the party where I spent the better part of my life serving selflessly. I cut my political teeth and matured in Swapo. This organisation educated me, shaped me and gave me direction.” Hamutenya further stated that: “Our collective commitment to the liberation of our motherland gave us a sense of purpose from which we never wavered: freedom, justice and equality for all Namibians. We served independent Namibia and her people with equal determination and commitment, often to the detriment of spending quality time with our families.”
Known as Professor amongst a circle of friends, countless Namibians can point to the impact HH had on their academic and professional lives.
A gallant gentleman has laid his head to rest and we take a bow.
Rest In Peace HH!