Conspiracy to oust me – Muinjangue

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

HEALTH and Social Services Deputy Minister Esther Muinjangue has said that she is being victimised by certain elements after she was appointed as deputy minister, because she is a woman.

Speaking to Confidente this week, Muinjangue said that there appears to be a conspiracy under way to recall her from Parliament so that she can lose her ministerial position. The deputy minister further said that in her view all this was being done because of jealousy and envy.

“You know, I am a woman coming from a patriarchal society and people are probably saying, ‘Who does she think she is?’ There is also an element of sexism that has strongly come out just because I am a woman,” she said.

She noted that her appointment by President Hage Geingob came as a surprise, adding that perhaps the President saw characteristics of good leadership in her that caught his attention.

“I did not connive with Swapo. The appointment came as a surprise to me. Maybe there is something that the President saw in me. This is the time to enhance my profession. Whatever the politicians or whoever is saying, I cannot control it.

“I worked as social worker in the Ministry of Health for 10 years before I went to lecture at the University of Namibia. What I am doing is a calling of serving the people,” she added.

Muinjangue reiterated that she would not join Swapo and does not need to be a Swapo member to serve in government. She went on to say Swanu member Fanuel Kozonguizi, the first Ombudsman in post-independent Namibia, was appointed to that position but never joined Swapo, even until his death.

She offered another example of former deputy minister of trade and industry Reggie Diergaardt, saying he was appointed as deputy minister by then president Sam Nujoma when he was a member of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), which was later renamed Popular Democratic Movement under the leadership of McHenry Venaani.

“Why would I join Swapo? For me to serve the nation I don’t have to join Swapo. I have a party to take care of. People are saying that it’s a plan to silence me. Silent in what?” she asked.

A member of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority, who did not want to be named for this report, took issue with the stance of Ovaherero chief Vekuii Rukoro, who is alleged to be one of those who are unhappy with Muinjangue’s ministerial appointment, saying Rukoro should be happy with the move, because Muinjangue is serving in a government led by Swapo, of which he is a member.    

Rukoro allegedly relieved her of the position as chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF), citing an incurable conflict of interest between her responsibilities as an effective campaigner for the genocide and reparations cause on the one hand, and her ministerial obligations on the other.

Ovaherero Traditional Authority spokesperson Mutjinde Katjiua said the issue had been discussed at length already and did not want to go into it. “I no longer want to comment. It’s history and it’s unnecessary to comment,” he said briefly on Wednesday.