Muharukua joins Swapo

Vipuakuje Muharukua
… a party he accused of campaigning with food

Former Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Vipuakuje Muharukua has formally joined Swapo, a party he once accused of using food aid to get votes.

He also once told parliament that Swapo was condoning corruption by constantly referring to the Fishrot scandal as the “so-called Fishrot”.

“When a thief tells you that they have not stolen, know that they have indeed stolen. The former minister of justice [Shanghala] was sitting there. He was an ardent defender of the lack of corruption in Swapo. But today he is in jail. Namibians do not take Swapo for its words when it says there is no corruption. We take the records of Swapo as proof for its corruption,” Muharukua said.

Muharukua announced his membership yesterday at a press conference in Windhoek.

He said it took him 16 months to arrive at the decision of joining Swapo, which he did on 20 June.

“In December 2022, I was faced with the need to make a choice whether or not to continue serving as a member of parliament (MP), because serving was increasingly at odds with my convictions and conscience,” he said.

Muharukua said Namibia has enjoyed a stable economy for the past 34 years, a milestone no “intellectual” can ignore.

“At independence in 1990 our GDP stood at U$2,79 billion, in 2023 it was projected to stand at U$30 billion. We have had stable economic growth over the past 34 years,” Muharukua noted.

He said a brief look at where the country’s economy comes from and where it is now, justifies his foregoing optimism.

“I am going to give my vote in the 2024 election to the president that I know will do the job, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. She will deliver. Our votes must translate into a stronger Namibia, where everyone is happy,” Muharukua said.

He said if one removes tribal and regional inclinations, he believes Nandi-Ndaitwah is the most qualified to usher Namibia into a new era.

Swapo deputy secretary general Uahekua Herunga, who is related to Muharukua, says the former lawmaker has numerous family members in the party.

“Muharukua, is a strong man that you know. His contribution to the Swapo party might be even much bigger than mine because of your experience here and there. His influence here and there. Therefore, nobody should intimidate him or give him some names,” Herunga says.


Political scientist Rui Tyitende says there is a serious disconnect between what Muharukua says today and his behaviour from the past nine years as a member of parliament representing PDM.

Tyitende says during Muharukua’s tenure as a PDM MP, he condemned the corruption and policy incompetence of the government and Swapo and viewed PDM as a government-in-waiting in which he would play a pivotal role.

Tyitende says the practice of politics remains an art that is ladened with personal interest, and not public interest.

“This appears to be an orchestrated campaign and I do not think it will have an impact on the electorate fortunes of PDM as Muharukua has no political capital or currency that will benefit Swapo, except for his individual vote,” he says.

Political observer Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro says Muharukua leaving PDM for Swapo should raise questions about a difference of economic policies between the two parties.

“One cannot help but wonder if one needs to buttress and solidify Muharukua’s presumed economic stability under the Swapo government,” he says.

Matundu-Tjiparuro also says Muharukua might have been elbowed and bullied out of PDM.

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