By Kelvin Chiringa
Namibia’s first ever female political party president and the first female presidential aspirant, Ester Muinjangue is said to have struck a deal with President Hage Geingob for her to stop running and instead take over at parliament, sources have said.
Muinjangue was recently spotted at Statehouse where she met the presidency and is said to have struck the deal, the NUDO affiliated source who cannot be named for fear of retribution has further disclosed.
The source told The Patriot that Geingob is “uncomfortable” with running against a female candidate who might take a portion of his electorates.
The NUDO president however has laughed off the accusations as a mere political ploy to confuse the public.
She said she was at Statehouse strictly for party business and interacted with the President on other concerns.
“No, at the Statehouse even the media was there. They could listen to our discussion there. It was purely a courtesy visit and we highlighted a few concerns. I am sure one of your people was there, so there is no deal that was (agreed to).
It’s totally not true. I know these are people that are trying to confuse the nation and I know exactly these are the people who lost the race against me during the NUDO congress and now they are trying to play all dirty games. For me it’s the last kicks of a dying horse,” she said.
Pressed by The Patriot on whether she saw herself as posing a serious threat to Geingob, Muinjangue said it was hard to say although the Ondangwa election was a telltale sign that “ladies are now here”.
The narrow victory in Ondangwa by Swapo candidate, Leonard Negonga has been regarded as a warning shot to Swapo and the power of non-political party aligned candidates.
The fact that the party brought its machinery out in full force in the person of the party secretary general, the prime minister and vice president, yet Angelina Immanuel still managed to nearly defeat their candidate has been observed to be a sure sign that all is not well for Swapo.
Muinjangue confirmed that she indeed will be running for the highest office, which will make the upcoming election a historic one, considering that it will also involve independent candidates.
“I don’t think (Geingob) will be afraid (of me).
That question I think it’s something that we will be able to know come November because, you know, they say your vote is your secret. But surely we are in an era where women empowerment and equal representation of women is high on the agenda (sic).
One will never know. Of course you have seen what happened in Ondangwa. Of course the Swapo candidate won but Angelina (Immanuel) was like 400 votes behind and all the other parties led by male candidates did very poorly. So that is a sign that the ladies have arrived,” she said.
The independent candidate phenomenon has been widely debated and has reinforced the conviction of a host of other youthful Namibians who believe individuals, and not the party, are capable of taking the country off the economic doldrums.
Can Muinjangue disrupt come November?
Political analyst Nico Horn has expressed misgivings on Muinjangue posing a serious threat to Geingob citing that Swapo is still very much a party of choice for the majority of Namibians.
“I think she will get a lot of sympathy. We have seen that with the lady in Ondangwa constituency election, but it will not be enough. The point is at the moment people still vote predominantly for the ruling party. When Venaani became the chairperson, everybody thought that he will at least push the votes up but there was no significant change.
It will definitely benefit her but it will not be enough for getting over 50% of the vote. I can’t imagine that will happen. Especially (given that) the northern vote is a Swapo vote,” he said.
Is it better advised for her to focus on fetching a parliamentary vote?
“I think what can happen is if she doesn’t make it, one of the parliamentarians could just offer her a seat. In political parties there are such agreements,” said Horn.