16 January 2013

Namibia: Leake Hangala Rejoins Swapo

A FORMER managing director of NamPower, Leake Hangala, has rejoined Swapo five years after quitting the ruling party.

"I don't want to talk much about my decision but all I can do is to confirm that I rejoined Swapo this year," Hangala said yesterday.

The founder and executive chairman of the Hangala Group left the ruling party after the 2007 Swapo congress, saying he wanted to concentrate on business.

He told The Namibian in 2007 after his resignation that "regrettably, in the current atmosphere of deep polarisation and personalisation, I no longer find myself able to make a contribution within the political realm".

The period Hangala referred to was characterised by deep-seated divisions in Swapo with long-serving party stalwarts purged from the party or leaving voluntarily.

Hangala did not join another political party after leaving Swapo.

Asked whether his views about the ruling party have changed since he left five years ago, Hangala said a lot has changed, including himself.

The businessman, who was a Swapo member for 40 years, will return as a new member and his four decades of service in the party will not count for anything.

Nangolo Mbumba, the secretary general of Swapo, yesterday confirmed that Hangala was back in the ruling party fold.

Mbumba said the rules are clear in terms of someone resigning and rejoining the party: "You start from scratch."

Hangala, who was at the helm of NamPower for just over ten years until early 2006, also became a leading personality in the business community.

Before joining NamPower, he was the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy from 1990 to 1995.

Hangala went into exile in the mid-seventies, studied geology in Finland from 1978 to 1987 and completed his studies with a PhD in economic geology at the Helsinki University. In 1998 he completed a certificate in executive management at the Harvard Business School in the USA.

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