FESTUS Muundjua has been appointed as Acting Chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF) with immediate effect after Dr Esther Muinjangue was relieved of her responsibilities as the Foundation’s chairperson.
A press statement from the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), dated 25 March 2020, and signed by Paramount Chief, Adv. Vekuii Rukoro, states that Dr Muinjangue’s appointment as the deputy minister of the ministry of health and social services exposes her to 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.
Muinjangue was appointed deputy minister of health while she occupied the Chairperson position of the OGF.
The appointment caused concerns because the stance of the OTA and the OGF, as well as the Nama Traditional Leaders Association and the Nama Technical Committee in Genocide is “diametrically opposed to the Namibian Government’s position on genocide issues and reparation campaign.”
“To our detractors who are celebrating that Hon. Dr Muinjangue’s ministerial job will mean that our genocide campaign is now effectively dead as she will be silenced, I wish to disappoint them by advising that the Genocide and Reparation campaigns have always been and will remain leadership driven. It is for this reason that attempts by the Government of Namibia to co-opt members of our two genocide Technical Committees in the Government advisory structures have failed over the years,” reads the statement.
Rukoro further noted that Dr Muinjangue’s new responsibilities will come with a heavy workload as in addition to being a member of parliament and head of a political party, she will be fully employed as a deputy minister.
“Therefore, she will not be able to sufficiently focus on the genocide issues at a time when our two victim communities have resolved to escalate our international campaign against Germany,” noted Rukoro.
Muundjua will act while consultations to appoint a substantive chairperson are taking place.