President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)
Hidipo L. Hamutenya is a Namibian politician. A long-time leading member of the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), Hamutenya was a member of the Namibian Cabinet from 1990 to 2004.
He was defeated in a bid for the party's presidential nomination in 2004 and left SWAPO to form an opposition group, the Rally for Democracy and Progress, in 2007.
Hamutenya was born in Odibo, Ohangwena Region. His father, Aaron Hamutenya, was a founding member of SWAPO.
The younger Hamutenya served as SWAPO's Representative to the Americas from 1965 to 1972 and as SWAPO's Secretary for Education from 1974 to 1976. He joined the SWAPO Politburo in August 1976, and at the same time he was a founding member of the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) in Lusaka; at the UNIN, Hamutenya was Deputy Director and Head of the History and Political Science Department from 1976 to 1981.
From 1978 to 1989, he was part of SWAPO's negotiating team for the UN Plan for Namibian Independence, and he was SWAPO's Secretary of Information and Publicity from 1981 to 1991.
Immediately prior to independence, he was a SWAPO member of the Constituent Assembly, which was in place from November 1989 to March 1990, and when Namibia gained its independence in 1990, he became a member of the National Assembly and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. He served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting until April 15, 1993, when he was instead appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, trading posts with Ben Amathila. He remained in the latter position for nine years, until he became Minister of Foreign Affairs on 27 August 2002 in a cabinet reshuffle.
Hamutenya received the 13th highest number of votes—352—in the election to the Central Committee of SWAPO at the party's August 2002 congress.
In May 2004 he sought SWAPO's nomination as its candidate for the presidential election which took place later in 2004; his candidacy was proposed by Mosé Penaani Tjitendero and seconded by Hartmut Ruppel.
As the leadership contest was underway, Hamutenya was dismissed from his position as Foreign Minister by President Sam Nujoma on 24 May, because Nujoma accused him of inciting division within the ranks of the party in the countries Omaheke region.
Hifikepunye Pohamba. In the first round of voting for the nomination, Hamutenya won 166 votes, behind Pohamba, who won 213; in the second round, on May 30, he was defeated by Pohamba, receiving 167 votes against Pohamba's 341.