Kalomo spoke highly of Hamutenya during an exclusive interview with this publication this week, saying there are “detractors who want to tarnish Hidipo’s good track record”.
“During his time as the Minister of Trade and Industry he really tried his best to empower Namibian entrepreneurs and he never sought glory for himself, he was selfless and claimed no victory or fame, he would always attribute success to the group,” narrated Kalomo.
Kalomo continued: “Sometimes we even had arguments as to why he never claimed the things he did.” “Hidipo is far older than I am, my knowledge about him is not that of a boyhood friend, but one based on our common outlook.
I feel he was misunderstood because some people made him look like a bogie man, a man who wished others ill and there were also those who think he was a tribalist but that was not the case,” he charged.
Kalomo described Hamutenya as someone who was perfectionist and that treated everyone equally.
“He was meritocratic, if you happen to come from same tribe it will not cross his mind because it was not in his character to judge people on where they come from but rather on the basis of their ability,” he said.
Hamutenya was also a workaholic, Kalomo remembers. “In 1995 while I was the Ambassador to Washington we travelled with Hidipo[trade minister at the time] and Kaire Mbuende (SADC secretary general then) to Gabon for a conference. When we arrived there was no accommodation, all we got was a room with one bed.
Hidipo and Mbuende slept on the bed and I slept on the floor. Mbuende woke up around 04h00 and noticed that Hidipo was not in bed, he found him sitting on the toilet pot working on the paper that he was going to deliver at the conference.
That act shows that he was a man full of humility because he was a minister at the time but he made no issue to share a bed. He was also considerate because he opted to work in the toilet instead of waking us up with the light,” narrated Kalomo.
Kalomo. said: When young people in the Swapo Party Youth League say SPYL is the transmitting belt of the party’s policies and programems, they must know that those words are the words of Hidipo.”
“When we sing Alert Namibia in Swapo, we must remember that the lyrics are the creativity of HH because created that hymn with the late Homateni Kalwenya who created that hymn. The same goes for the National Anthem,” he said. Kalomo said he picked up that Hamutenya was a team player who would often seek the views of others before deciding upon something.
“Hidipo was an introvert. Since he stammered, one would have perhaps thought that being an introvert was his way to speak clearly. I know he was sincere in his actions and he was a generous person who also wanted others to become better persons.”
“My deepest regret about Nambia is that the authentic history and the role of witnesses of that history has not been written. But Hidipo was a true patriot of Namibia who made a contribution that any other patriot could have made. Our history as a country would be incomplete if the role he played is not included,” Kalomo said with regret .