AR’s ultimatum – a serious threat to ordinary women

Dear Editor,

THE recent ultimatum of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), and the night vigil last Saturday at the Windhoek residence of Chief Justice and Chairman of the JSC, Peter Shivute, is a serious human rights violation and Gender-Based Violence against helpless ordinary Namibian women.

The reason being that an entire AR Youth movement of Dr. Job Amupanda, a Deputy Dean at the University of Namibia, has been mobilised to target an ordinary Namibian citizen just because she happens not to be Oshidonga- what a terrible thing to happen in an independent Namibia, the rise of youth tribalism. Whereas Ms. Olyvia Martha Imalwa, the current Prosecutor General, Mr. Taswald Theo July, a group legal Advisor at First National Bank of Namibia, and Ms. Ruth Modesta Herunga, a former magistrate and public prosecutor, have been shortlisted; the AR group wants Ruth Herunga, a well-qualified Herero speaking Namibian female removed from the shortlist, the position to be re-advertised, and interviews to take place publically.

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However, the JSC stressed that the three were shortlisted following a rigorous process of advertisement, screening and selection. They were selected for interviews after having met the formal requirements. From the eight applications received, five did not meet the advertised requirements. In protest, AR labelled the JSC as promoting Fishrot corruption and insists that Ruth Herunga be disqualified because she is a SWAPO Party member. The AR led by Dr. Amupanda also demanded a response from Chief Justice Shivute by November 27 2020. The group slept overnight in the street of the Chief Justice’s residence thereby effectively, putting him under mental, psychological, and physical threat, duress, and indirect hostage keeping.

Rewind back to January 2016, when UNAM appointed Job Amupanda, as the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Science at 28 years. At the time, he only had a Bachelor of Arts (honors), and a Master of Arts in Political Science, and zero experience in lecturing, as he only started lecturing in 2015. It is not clear on what criteria, Dr. Amupanda, a novice lecturer was appointed as a deputy Dean by UNAM ahead of many other young, capable and deserving Namibians with many years of experience and published scholarly articles. The post was not advertised, no interviews were conducted. Dr. Amupanda was simply handpicked from the dusty streets of Omalala village, and appointed under the proverbial table. Deserving Namibians, black and white were grossly denied the opportunity by UNAM (whoever was the Council Chairperson at UNAM and the Vice Chancellor abused their offices, and provided Dr. Amupanda, who was then an active SWAPO member, the space to launch his AR Youth movement and to influence students).

The vacancy delivered on a silver platter, to the wet behind the ears AR leader provided him with a lavish salary and fringe benefits to purchase a N$4 million valued posh mansion in Eros and a luxury car (contrary to his public self-portrayal as a non-materialistic revolutionary equal to Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara and socialist revolutionary Thomas Sankara- definitively a far cry from the reality). If Dr. Amupanda is as revolutionary, a unifier, incorruptible, and non-Oshindonga tribalist, as he claims, he should without delay return the Deputy Dean position which UNAM handed to him under the table and leave Ruth Herunga alone.

This way the youths who appreciate his  leadership potential, will be re-assured that he is not morally bankrupt and neither an Oshidonga entitlement syndrome driven personality; like that infamous gentleman from UNAM who recently lost out to his fellow colleague for the NUST Vice Chancellor job.  This UNAM gentleman whose name we will not mention,  after faring poorly in the public presentation, psychometric test results and verification of references, and only having scored marginally above his fellow contestant in closed interviews, went about causing public havoc and crying literally that he has been discriminated against because he is Aawambo. What a serious bunkum entitlement syndrome that is? This type of run-of-the-mill Namibians and their supporters who are nation wreckers, hell-bent on making Namibia a Rwanda Massacre or Nazi Germany holocaust should stop promoting and hiding behind their tribal identities. We are all Namibians, equally clever, beautiful, honest, hardworking and deserving our place under the Namibian sun. We all want a beautiful Namibia, where our children and grandchildren will live in peace, unity and harmony.

Therefore, what AR and Dr. Amupanda is doing against Ruth Herunga is completely unacceptable. That is gross victimisation akin to mental and physical Gender Based Violence and flagrant abuse of Ruth Herunga’s constitutional human right to decent work, as a well-qualified and experienced female Namibian. Unlike the shady process which catapulted Dr. Amupanda from a novice lecturer to a Deputy Dean overnight, Ruth Herunga has been shortlisted in a transparent and open recruitment process, let us give her the opportunity to compete and to get the Public Prosecutor post if she is the best candidate.

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I trust that the JSC Chairman will not give into this Oshindonga tribalism hostage keeping. I hope many brave and peace loving Namibians will come out and join me to stop this AR abuse and Gender-Based Violence against Ruth Herunga, on the basis that she is not from the preferred tribal grouping. Let us stop youth tribalism in Namibia. Down with AR tribalism and women abuse!

John Smith