We have a new Doctor in Namibia

Dr Elia George Kaiyamo is Namibia’s new Doctor of Philosophy. Dr Kaiyamo is also the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration. At 62 years, Dr Kaiyamo has travelled a long and rugged road but has never been deterred from achieving both his personal and national goals.

He is one of the many cadres who fought to liberate the country from within by creating, mobilising and marshaling various institutions to sustain the struggle while risking his own life. His political activism led him to his ‘internal exile’ when the apartheid system exiled him to Karibib to cut off his political oxygen. Unfortunately, he belongs to the class of the ‘unstoppable’.

To this end, he has attained the highest honour of celebrating his life as a success and above all, a liberal who fully understands the people’s daily struggles. In this exclusive interview, we candidly join this household son of the soil in celebrating his life.

His life begins . . .


PF: Politician, educationist, MP, Cabinet member, deputy minister, activist and veteran of the liberation struggle all in one. How do you keep all of this running at the same time?

EGK: We come from the background of the liberation struggle. During the struggle, some of us who led from within the country were all things in one. I was a teacher, an underground activist and a strategist. There is nothing new. It’s just the continuation of the struggle.

PF: What sparked your political interest?

EGK: That was a historical call for any patriot who felt oppressed by the system. We received lots of encouragement from the Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma. He mobilised people from all walks of life to participate in the struggle.

I further received encouragement and support from my late Father, the Evangelist Mika Kaiyamo. It was his evangelical work, support for the workers and the suffering he endured under the Apartheid regime that spurred me on further to go all-out and become a political activist.

During that time, we followed the Marxist-Leninist ideology. As an intellectual, I felt that I had to be a part of the struggle. People suffered and felt oppressed. Having grown up among workers, it made me a part of the fighting forces of Namibia.

PF: What has happened to the call since then?

EGK: The struggle we fought up to 1990 was to gain political independence. Now that we are free, we have to lead. We need to lead the country for nation building, economic emancipation and for all that, we need to be activists. Even in the Bible, God says, He helps those who help themselves.

For you to survive the economic struggle, you need to be involved. You need to be knowledgeable about the new struggle in order to fight better. That’s why I was involved in the library initiative whereby in 2001 I was appointed as the founding Chairperson of the Namibia Library Council in a free and independent Namibia. I passed on the baton earlier this year.

PF: The new dispensation comes with its own set of challenges, how are we winning this battle?

EGK: We are winning the battle collectively and not as individuals. That is why we need to get everyone involved so that we can strengthen the battle line in the current times. You see, as a veteran of the struggle, you must constantly, persistently be a part of the struggle. You cannot go on a holiday. We brought independence. We need to continue to be vibrant in order to continue living in the new Namibia

PF: You are talking about vibrancy, Honourable. Where do we get this from?

EGK: It is the Marxist-Leninist ideology which kept us alive during the struggle days; you therefore need to continue with the struggle in order to make a difference. Now, if you went on a holiday, you cease to be a part of the struggle.

PF: But some people’s perception of independence is that everything should be delivered at their door steps. What is your take on this?

EGK: No, that is wrong. That is the reason why the Government appointed different people in different positions to give people direction in different aspects. Ministers have to give political direction, bureaucrats give bureaucratic direction while (public) officials help steer the system.

I know all of us have challenges but there is a need to be knowledgeable, otherwise, the country shall remain stagnant. This is where we need the youth to step in. The task of the youth is to bring about a new Namibia in line with what Lenin said in his book ‘The Role of the Youth’, This is the point at which the youth should take the lead and acquaint themselves with academic knowledge and work, not talk, talk and talk.

PF: Talk is cheap they say…?

EGK: And they should learn from the veterans; learn from Dr Sam Nujoma. He never went to school before independence but he managed to lead us through the struggle. Some of us went to school during the struggle days and after that, we went to university. That is setting an example. I recently finished my doctorate studies. We want to be role models to our children.

PF: Can you take us through some memories of the struggle and the significant incidences in your life?

EGK: I have some photos, you see, this is a very important one (points to a photo). I am there and Marco Hausiku (the Deputy Prime-Minister) is there. We were teachers at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School then. During the day, we would teach and in the evenings, we would be political activists.

As political activists, we taught the people to believe in the Party; to join the liberation struggle and to do underground work. What I am saying here is that I knew of my experience as a teacher, so I taught our children that Namibia would one day be independent and urged them to join the struggle.

I had my tasks assigned to me by the Party. All these unions you see today came into existence because of the efforts of the struggle veterans such as Comrades Peter Ilonga, Bernard Esau, Loide Kasingo, Ben Ulenga, Gabriel Ithete, the late Comrades Anton Lubowski and John Pandeni, myself and many others. We worked closely and had the unwavering political support from the leadership (leaders such as Cde Marco Hausiku, Cde Jerry Ekandjo amongst others) inside the country.

PF: This sounds like a mammoth task; how did you do that and are the current crop of unions living up to that call?

EGK: We were the ones who built the union institutions and infrastructure. We brought about the unions to join the struggle. Back then, when we mobilised the workers, we did it, so that they could eventually join the struggle.

Sadly, today, some unions, not all, have become some kind of bourgeois unions. Some leaders have turned the unions into careers for themselves. They have become careerists. It is no longer about the interest of the workers but theirs.

PF: What should they be doing instead?

EGK: They need to refuel their tanks. They also need to look and understand the alliances and their respective assignments.
In addition, they should facilitate the process of equipping the workers with knowledge and skills instead of focusing only on salary increases. How do you get a salary increase if you do not work and deliver?

Workers must also understand that we live in a capitalist system and how the capitalist system works to enable economic liberation. It is only by striving to get into the mainstream economy and by becoming the owners of the means of production that they can experience true transformation. This will come through the improvement of their skills base and their knowledge of how the economy functions.

Our mandate is to ensure that the economy delivers, delivers and delivers.

PF: Post-independence and championing development has been a test often failed by many African states. Where are we headed as a country with regard to this?

EGK: Namibia is different. I am sure if you read in these capitalist newspapers, you’d learn that Namibia is different. Maybe, we were lucky to be among the countries which were liberated last historically thus enabling us to learn from the mistakes others made.

In addition most of our leaders are still alive. You can name them, Dr Sam Nujoma, President Pohamba, Toivo Ya Toivo Mzee Kaukungwa .They led us during the struggle and they are still leading us. They did not go on holiday since the 1960s. They did not abandon ship.

We just had a policy conference last month. All of them were there. We are happy to see them going strong. What we see in some African countries, if for instance one lost an election, they immediately start fighting their own battles, instead of fighting the economic battles for the masses.

Most people have also not learnt anything from Nyerere (the Tanzanian Founding President). You see, it’s how we get informed (pulls out a book by Julius Nyerere from his bookshelf). People need to know what Nyerere said about freedom and religion; freedom and socialism; freedom and development . . .

His kind and him have had experiences we must learn from. It’s not about talk, talk, talk. So this is the food you must eat (referring to books) to be informed. You must understand how Nyerere brought about ‘uhuru’ as well as ‘ujamaa’. You must understand the village concept. If the villagers say, ‘we want a road between our villages and towns’ and then you say, ‘for what? You don’t have a car!’. We must understand that villagers also seek development. They also seek to enjoy the fruits of independence. The same fruits they fought for.

The other book is about Kwame Nkrumah (pulls out another book). You see, these are people who had a vision. This is what Cde Nujoma had. He brought peace and stability during his presidency. President Pohamba has continued on the same path. You must have a vision of where you want to take the country as a leader.

PF: There are fears that should the pillars of the liberation struggle pass on all efforts shall come to nought. Would you say there are efforts to pass on the torch to the next generation?

EGK: Yes, that’s why we had a policy conference so that the torch is passed on. But then, the people to whom we should pass the torch must also be willing to receive it and to continue to fight for it, not just lazing around bars drinking and thinking the torch will come on its own. I wish you could visit the Founding President and have a look at his bookshelf and understand how much he reads.

PF: Does he still read?

EGK: Yes he does and we continue to feed him with more books. All these people who make a lot of noise don’t want to read so they can learn. You see like here (picking another book), this is Mao-Tse Tung (Zedong). What did they do with the ‘Long March’? We could learn from them. We must learn from the past and take the positives to continue with the struggle against ignorance, poverty, under-development and the struggle for economic emancipation.

PF: So the struggle continues?

EGK: ‘Aluta Continua’; it’s not about the talk but the walk. You see, the young generation thinks it’s their turn to eat (pulling out the book ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat’) because they believe the old generation have already eaten.

PF: Honourable, how does the ‘our turn to eat’ syndrome come about since most of them are well-off people, some even holding very senior positions?

EGK: It’s confusion because for them, it’s only about eating without working for it. I highly recommend they read the book (‘It’s Our Turn to Eat’) to understand my point of departure.

Sometimes, as liberators of this country we forget our tasks. Therefore, we need to be reminded that we need to harmonise the classes in this capitalistic system of ours and be on the same page.

That’s why we need to stand together as a party so that we jealously guard against elements trying to do things that are not in line with the initial aims and objectives of the struggle. These people are not promoting the ideals we fought for.

Instead of building the country with the money they get, you see them driving all sorts of cars because they don’t understand. Sometimes you find them with a big car and yet they don’t have a house to stay in or a bed to sleep on. Their mothers in the village do not even have shoes and yet they call themselves BEEs!

It’s because they don’t have the ideology. It’s because they don’t have a compass to lead them. Lenin famously said, ‘This is the road you must travel.’ He didn’t say it would take 200 years. All he said was, this is the road, and you must construct the road.

PF: Honourable, would you perhaps say lack of ideological background is due to something wrong in the education system?

EGK: One of the resolutions at the policy conference is that we will relook our education system, as not every child is academically gifted.

Therefore, those who are not academically talented should undergo vocational training in their fields of choice to enable them to do their respective jobs effectively. Those who are academically talented should follow their field of choice.


PF: How would you summarise your job description as a deputy minister of Home Affairs and Immigration?

EGK: My role here is to assist the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration (Rosalia Nghidinwa) to succeed in the assignments assigned to the ministry as a whole. This is to make sure that the nation is recorded and documented. This means that our nationals must have identity documents (IDs), birth certificates, passports, and visas and so on, that is my job.

I also deliver certain services but let me put it in this context; I am now delivering a type of service in a country which was colonised for over a 100 years. Our people never had the opportunity to be registered. Because of the colonial administration, for our people to travel to Windhoek, they had to obtain a pass.

They could not come freely. They had to lie by changing their names. In Wamboland, if one was known as ‘Johannes Petrus’, for that person to come to Windhoek, they had to become a ‘Johannes Cloete’ or ‘Johannes Damaseb’. Now this person would have to live his life as ‘Johannes Damaseb’ (PF: Which he is not).

Now I need you to understand the context. This guy then comes here and gets married. All his children acquire the surname, ‘Damaseb’. After independence, he becomes a full Wambo; ‘Johannes Petrus’ and then comes here (Home Affairs) for his birth certificate, yet there is no birth certificate for him here since he was never registered. Instead of telling us the truth about how he ended up changing his name during the liberation struggle era, this person may start telling stories of ‘I was born where and where . . .’

The same goes with these young people who don’t want to go to school and study. They want to come here and get their IDs because they have heard Government gives out pensions. They come here and claim, ‘I was born in 1952’.

People can see that you were not born in 1952 as you are still a small girl or boy and then if they don’t get what they want, they put up a fight.

All the people you hear claiming they don’t have documents, most of them are not telling the truth. As a way forward for those who need corrections of names, we ask them to bring their parents or close relatives to verify the facts of the information they have provided us with, but because they would be lying, they will go and call on a friend or something.

Some of them, who have even been arrested and convicted, come here straight from the courts, wanting to change their names to keep their bad deeds hidden. They come here saying they want to change their names because their IDs got lost. Little do they know that it is hard to change one’s identity as the ID details remain in the system and no one can change the fingerprints.

Every time they are told their application has been “banned”, some people go and borrow money and fail to pay back and want to run away from ITC, they say, ‘Minister, I want to change my name’.

PF: Are these the only challenges you are facing?

EGK: We have a number of challenges, for example, the issue of unfriendly staff but we are currently training them. As an African child, I believe we all come from the village where we learn how to behave.

If a child does not know how to behave, they probably did not learn this from their parents. We are trying but they say, you must bend a tree whilst it’s still young. We have another challenge such as budgetary constraints; we still need to do more in terms of training of our staff.

The other challenge is that people here use the children of their family members to get social grants. They are doing this by picking children of their family members and make them theirs because they want to benefit.

If they come here and they are asked where the father of the child is, some go and get botsotsos from the streets. When questions are asked about where the child was born and so forth, one finds out that there is no truth in the connection between the “father” of the child and the child or the mother.

Some of our people are not honest when asked to go and collect documents. They go to churches - some of these churches which make a lot of noise in the streets give false information. Even some of the so-called ‘well-established’ churches at times give wrong information from the church register and when they bring it here, there are contradictions. The point is, people are dishonest. We always help those who are honest.

We face the challenge of people who want dual citizenship; they want, say, a German passport and a Namibian passport at the same time. If they fail to adhere to our rules, they run to court. We don’t allow dual citizenship; we don’t want our passports to be used for other things. If we tell that, they go to court and say, ‘If you are born in Namibia, you are Namibian by birth’. Some of these courts are not patriotic enough as well.

Sometimes we need the system to be guarded. All foreigners who come here need our attention. Sometimes when we have too much work here and fail to give the needed attention, people rush to court.

Some of these people come here on work permits but are not interested in transferring skills to locals. When their contracts expire, they want to marry Namibian women not in good faith but to obtain Namibian citizenship. While we await police clearance, they rush to court saying they are being violated.

We also have corrupt officials who tell themselves ‘it’s our turn to eat’; I wonder who told them it is their turn!

Despite all these challenges and the little resources we have, we are doing quite well. Today, if you apply for a passport, you will get it in a few days. As for the IDs, those claiming not to get theirs on time are lying. People do not pick them up once they are processed.

To alleviate some of these challenges, we now have Home Affairs branches in all the State hospitals around the country; meaning that as soon as a child is born, they are able to obtain their birth certificates immediately. I guess you now understand my job; it’s tough and challenging.

PF: Is the system not creating fertile ground for corruption?

EGK: As Government officials, we take oaths to deliver service and not to come and undertake corrupt activities. We often experience rogue elements offering bribes to our officials. In any system, you have what is called ‘rotten apples’, we need to get rid of them. If you work here and get paid, why then would you want to get extra money at our expense? Some of these people who bribe our officials have been caught; some court cases are on-going.

Let me tell you and tell the people that there is no short-cut in life; you better follow the right channels or find yourself in trouble with the law. If you want documents and you qualify, there is no reason why you should not have them and on time.

PF: A lot of people expressed optimism when you assumed this office, hoping that a number of changes would be underway by now. How far have you lived up to these expectations?

EGK: You have to understand that I do not work here as an individual, we are a team; there is my minister, myself, the permanent secretary, and the rest of our able team. President Pohamba has on numerous occasions been on record preaching collective leadership. Cde President says ‘the left hand must always know what the right hand is doing’. What happens at Home Affairs is testament to his great leadership style.

Looking at the changes which have taken place in the past two to three years, I am very happy with what we have achieved thus far despite all the challenges we have had to encounter.

PF: Why is your ministry perceived as a difficult one?

EGK: We are a friendly ministry but make no mistake; Home Affairs is also a security ministry/agency like Defence and the Police Forces and so on, because we deal with important national documents and matters relating to national security. As such that we are unfriendly is based on individual perceptions.

As a ministry, we cannot just open up to everyone. For example, if you apply for a residence permit, first of all, we have to do a background check on you to find out if you have a clean criminal record. You may be a fugitive on the run from your country for murder, who knows! We will need your police clearance and this takes a long time, because the police everywhere are also busy with other tasks. And while we are busy doing this, people come here wanting to rush us, demanding their documents.

As a ministry, we also deal with GIPF. People are registered with their parents for the purpose of inheritance when they die. The names registered in the wills are at times different from those at the insurance companies and our role is to harmonise these things.

PF: While referring to the harmonisation of the system, to what extent does the ministry consider the use of technology to expedite the different functions?

EGK: We are currently busy with the process of the use of technology so that with a click of a button, we will be able to access all the relevant information we need about applicants.

PF: Your counterpart in SA has a 24-hour call centre. Do you envisage having something like this in future since even calls are hardly picked up by your staff?

EGK: This is what we plan to do. If you have been following the proceedings in the local media, you would know that we were at the Ongwediva Trade Fair last month and won the first prize. In Eenhana, and in Okakarara, we also came first. We now have a public relations officer (PRO), we are on our way, things are happening.

PF: Has the Ministry covered enough ground in decentralising service delivery for all Namibians across the country?

EGK: We have offices in all the regions and now we are trying to engage at district and constituency levels. We just need more money in order to employ more staff, because what we found here you cannot believe (sighs)! There was only one director and the rest were deputy directors. We need a director in every region to take care of ministry business as well as provide supervision. The process is ready to take off but we are often told there are no funds.

In addition, our mobile registration programme is going on well. We currently have teams in Eenhana, Ohangwena and Omusati regions doing registration. We are trying our best.

PF: But it has been reported that Home Affairs makes good money. Where then does the money go to?

EGK: You must understand that the money Home Affairs makes is not ours to keep but it goes to the Ministry of Finance’s coffers where the cake is divided for the national good.


PF: As a Member of Parliament (MP), are you satisfied with the current level of debate in Parliament and if not, what must be done to improve on it?

EGK: In Parliament, we have different parties and every party has different people dealing with education, health and so forth. Sometimes you have people who take the floor to talk about education even if they are not educationists but because they have been voted by the people to bring the people’s concern to Parliament, they do that. I do not subscribe to the bourgeois argument that says debates are not at the level they should be.

If an MP says, I was sent here by my constituency to ask for more money for the school in Okakarara, Erongo or a road in Tsumkwe. This MP is simply looking after the best interests of his people, the same people who elected him and sent him to parliament in the first place. What more do you want? The people who make these arguments are the people who have a different agenda; not all of us went to school.

PF: Whilst we are still on legislative issues, do you believe that the ruling party seriously considers legislative proposals from the opposition parties or do they simply shoot them down for political party reasons?

EGK: Every elected MP is considered a full Member of Parliament. We are in Parliament because of the political parties we represent; we don’t just shoot every person down unless we are convinced that whatever it is they are trying to put across is not in the best interest of the Namibian people. If there is an on-going motion that is in the best interest of the Namibian people, we sit together as parties and deliberate upon it. It so happens that at times, we need to change the vocabulary and make sure the issue comes out clearly.

PF: Obviously, you listen to each other and take each other seriously, I hope?

EGK: Yes we do. But we as the ruling party need to give direction; people need to debate constructively. The Rt. Hon Prime Minister, especially, as the leader of Government businesses in Parliament is very clear on that one, “Let us hear and convince each other,” he often says.


PF: What makes you so passionate about education?
EGK: If you are educated and skilled, that is the only way you can make your contribution in an informed way. There’s nothing more important to our country’s future than the education we give our children. You see (pulls a family photo from the wall), these are all my children and my wife. They are all educated because I have led by example.

If you, as a parent, do not understand that if you have children, you have a responsibility to bring them up according to certain guidelines, you can never expect any better results. All my children went through university; even the last born is in university ;right now. Until they finished university, none of them drove my car.

This thing of saying, ‘let me borrow your car and chill,’ for what? Finish your studies and go and chill if you want to chill. If you want to drive, study and buy your own car.

So you must educate a child the way you want them to grow up and all my children also read a lot.

PF: On a very personal level, what value has education brought in your own life?

EGK: It has brought immense value. It has contributed to who I am today as an individual. I believe that it is only through the means of reading and education can one’s potential be used to the maximum. I am 62 and I have just finished my PhD.

Knowledge is important. Knowledge is power. In today’s world, it is very important to know what is happening around you. We live in a knowledge based society. You will only progress in life if you are knowledgeable with issues. You must know what is happening in your own country. You must know what is happening in the world.

PF: From your experience, what would you say is Namibia’s biggest challenge?

EGK: In this country, the (biggest) challenge we have is not HIV/AIDS but ignorance. If we came up with means and ways of dealing with ignorance in this country, then I am sure we would go very far.

The Government provides all forms of assistance to a lot of people but if you are unaware of any of them, then you shall remain stagnant in your life.

PF: Is there a time you will call it quits with education?

EGK: Why would I do that? It’s because of education that I have a national duty. As a father, a parent and a leader, you must give direction into the way things should be done, at all times.

PF: How long did it take you to complete your PhD?

EGK: 10 years.

PF: What is the title of your thesis?

EGK: “The Role Played by SWAPO during the Liberation Struggle for the Independence of Namibia (1960-1990)”.

PF: Which university did you study at?

EGK: Washington State University in the US.

PF: Would you say that you are a proud parent after all this?

EGK: Yes I am very proud. My children made me profoundly proud.

PF: You have plenty of books in your office and this is probably just a fraction of them. Where do you get these books?

EGK: I buy books whenever and wherever I get the opportunity. I continue to be a voracious reader. Free time for me is spent reading.

I also want to make it abundantly clear that I grew up in Katutura. I went to school until Grade 10 and 12 and after that, I finished my BA, my BA honours, my teachers’ diploma, my masters while living in Katutura. I completed my PhD living in Katutura and I continue to live in Katutura East Constituency.

PF: So no one can make an excuse that they cannot make it because they are from Katutura?

EGK: I want you to write on the cover, ‘Katutura boy to doctorate’. I have lived in Katutura for the past 50 years.

PF: Let’s take a look at education on a broader side. The state of national education is worrisome. What’s your take on that?

EGK: It’s not worrisome. It is a question of the parents not being involved in the affairs of their children’s education. They drop their kids at the school gate and it ends there. You must be in touch with the school and the teachers all the time to find out how your child fares. Now you expect the teachers to feed your child all the time? Parents need to ensure their children do their homework, they need to ensure their children read and they need to guide them throughout. Education is a shared responsibility and it should start at home.

PF: So what you are saying is that what we are experiencing are signs and symptoms of what is not working at family level?

EGK: Exactly. I want you to understand something (gets another book authored by Samora Machel: ‘We Must Conquer Underdevelopment’); you cannot conquer underdevelopment if you don’t understand cultural values, the school and the party, teachers and the school, parents and the school...

PF: In other words, there is no way parents can abdicate their roles to the teachers?

EGK: Exactly. The thought should not even be an option.

PF: What do you suggest that parents should do then?

EGK: They should attend evening schools if they feel that they are not fully equipped in their tasks as parents. The Government offers literacy classes in all the constituencies so that the constituents can learn English and be able to help their grandchildren but now they all prefer to stay in the bars drinking.

The point I am making is that, you are never too old to learn. Parents as guardians must try to read to their children even if they cannot read English, let them read the Bible in their own languages. The child can then see Ouma reading, and they will also want read. But if the Ouma and Oupa do not read, how can they expect their children to read?

They must know how this thing works (referring to a cell phone), otherwise, the children will be on it and they should provide guidance on how to use it. If you don’t know how to put credit and you give it to your child to do it for you, they will only enter five dollars for your phone account while the rest will go into their phones. You don’t even need a degree but basic education.

There are libraries in all the regions, let people go to libraries and read all the books there; how to cook better meals; how to uphold better relationships so that they don’t kill each other, etc. Let’s find ways to minimise our ignorance. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you must know everything about them including their birthdays not just their pay days.

PF: Let’s talk about the youth in Namibia, would you say the youth have been let down?

EGK: By whom?

PF: By the system?

EGK: No, the youth are now in a better position because they can read and understand these things. They should just follow the examples of the founding people like Dr Sam Nujoma. They must not run the country through Facebook, how can you run a country through Facebook?

They must continue learning, educate themselves, become productive citizens and stop wasting time on Facebook criticising others the whole day.

PF: How would you like to be remembered?

EGK: I want to be remembered as a socialist and communist, because what I do is based on ideological understanding of issues. I want to be remembered as a grassroots person who played a role in the struggle, because there is nowhere you can talk about the liberation struggle inside the country without mentioning my name. If you mention the likes of Dr Sam Nujoma, President Pohamba and Marco Hausiku, my name should also come in there.

PF: In five words, how would you describe yourself?

EGK: I’d say I’m a ‘humble servant of the people’.

PF: Thank you Dr Kaiyamo, it was a great pleasure speaking to you.

EGK: The pleasure is all mine. PF


Deputy Minister's Biography

NAME: Hon. Dr Elia George Kaiyamo MP

PLACE OF BIRTH: Ondobe Constituency, Ohangwena Region

FAMILY: Father: Mika Kaiyamo – Peasant & Evangelist
Mother: Olivia Mukwamalanga Japhet Haimbili (Kaiyamo) - Peasant

UPBRINGING/CHILDHOOD: Grew up with parents and brought up as per the African tradition, with four brothers and four sisters

MARITAL STATUS: Married to Loide K. Kaiyamo, with four sons


• Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration (2010)
• Member of Parliament (2000 to date)
• Member of the Inter Parliamentary Union (2000-2010)
• Member of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (2000-2010)
• Vice President of the Forum for Parliamentarians on Education in Africa, SADC Region (2000 - 2009)
• Member of Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Committee (2000-2010)
• Member of Public Accounts Committee (2000-2010)
• Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee; Human Resources and Community Development (2000-2010)
• Chairperson of the Parliamentary Gender Committee (2000-2005)
• Chairperson of the Namibia Library and Information Council (2001-2012)

HISTORY: Politician
1977-1980 SWAPO Party activist
1980-1989 Part of SWAPO Party underground activities
1981-1983 Member of SWAPO Windhoek Branch
1984-1986 Secretary of the SWAPO Windhoek Branch under Cde Marco Hausiku
1984-1990 Trade Unionist – Tasked by SWAPO Party to organize workers (NAFAU, MUN, NATAU, MANWU, NANTU and eventually NUNW)
1986-1987 Secretary – SWAPO Western Region under Cde A. Kapere
1988-1989 Student Activist under NANSO
1989 Tasked by SWAPO Party to organize transport vehicles from ANC, UDF & SACP to help with 1989 elections.
1990-1991 Member of SWAPO Party Regional Executive as District Information Officer
1998-2010 District Information Officer – SWAPO Katutura East
2010 to date Member of SWAPO Party Central Committee

1976 Teacher at Herero/Damara Primary Schools, Katutura
1977-1986 Teacher at Katutura Secondary School/Shifidi
1987 Teacher at Karibib Primary School – “exiled” by Apartheid regime
1990-1991 Deputy Principal at Shipena Secondary School, Katutura
1991-1994 First Secretary – Embassy of Namibia – Moscow, Russia
1994-1995 Counsellor – Embassy of Namibia – Bonn, Germany
1996-1997 Charge d’Affaires – Embassy of Namibia – Vienna, Austria/Permanent Resident – Permanent Mission of Namibia to UNIDO, IAEA and UN office in Vienna.
1998-1999 Desk Officer for Germany & Austria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

• Matric (1973)
• Diploma in Teaching (1975)
• B.A University of Cape Town, Republic of South Africa (1989)
• B.A Honors University of Namibia (1992)
• M.A Pacific Western University, USA (1994)
• PhD Washington State University, USA (2012)

DECORATIONS: Room of Fame, Namibia, 2007

INTERESTS: Education, Health and Gender Issues

HOBBIES: Reading, political debates, listening to local artists, cultural issues. PF