Sam Nujoma

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President Sam Nujoma

Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma (born May 12, 1929) was the first President of Namibia. He was inaugurated in 1990 and was subsequently re-elected in 1994 and 1999, serving until 2005.

Nujoma was born in the north of the country, in Ongandjera, Ovambo. His mother, Mpingana Helvi Kondombolo, was still alive as of May 2004, and over 100 years old.

President of SWAPO

In 1960 he became the first President of SWAPO (South West African People's Organization), having co-founded its forerunner, the Ovamboland People's Organization, in the late 1950s. At the time South Africa administered the land under a policy of apartheid, or division, in which the best resources were reserved for those classified white, while indigenous Namibians were treated as inferior and forbidden from active participation in their country. After years of asking the UN to ensure the occupying power South Africa released control of South West Africa, he authorized armed resistance in 1966.

During the struggle, Nujoma took the combat name "Shafiishuna", meaning "lightning", as the name was in his family on his father's side. [1] (

President of Namibia

As head of SWAPO, Nujoma was unanimously declared president upon the victory of SWAPO in a United Nations-supervised election in 1989, and was sworn in as president by UN Secretary-General Javier Prez de Cullar on March 21, 1990.

In 1996 Norway decided to stop drought relief to Namibia in response to purchase of new expensive presidential jet and two new VIP helicopters. The planes were bought just few weeks after Sam Nujoma had appealed to the international community for aid. [2] (

The constitution of Namibia was changed to allow Nujoma to run for a third five-year term in 1999. He won that election with 76.8% of the vote. The constitution did not allow Nujoma to run again in November 2004 for a fourth term, and there was no move to change it again; Hifikepunye Pohamba, described by some as Nujoma's "hand-picked successor", was the SWAPO candidate for president instead. Pohamba was elected with a large majority and was sworn in as president on March 21, 2005. Nujoma will remain head of the SWAPO party until 2007. [3] (

Nujoma initiated a plan for land reform, in which land would be redistributed from whites (who, despite constituting only a small percentage of the population, own a disproportionately large amount of the nation's farmland) to blacks, although the land reform is being done on a more gradual and long-term basis than neighboring Zimbabwe's land reform. Nujoma has been vocal in his support for Zimbabwe and its president, Robert Mugabe, in the face of the criticism the Zimbabwean government has received from the West for its land reform program. Under Zimbabwe's land reform programs, white farmers' lands have been seized without compensation.

See also

es:Sam Nujoma fr:Sam Nujoma id:Sam Nujoma nl:Sam Nujoma ja:サム・ヌジョマ pl:Sam Nujoma pt:Sam Nujoma sv:Sam Nujoma


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