|Simunja, Victor - Swapo|
|Victor Simunja, who became Deputy Minister of Defence in 2000, was a career soldier who had progressed through the ranks of Plan and then the NDF since he went into exile in 1975.
In 1998 he spent seven months in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a Staff Officer for Operations as Namibia sent about 2,000 troops to support President Laurent Kabila. He played an even more crucial role in Kavango from November 1999 to March 2000 when he commanded Namibian troops seeking to flush Unita out of the region. In January 2000 he appeared in both the international and local media as the army paraded 81 captured people, said to be Unita rebels, at Rundu.
He had reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the NDF by the time President Sam Nujoma appointed him as Deputy Minister of Defence and a non-voting member of the NA in March 2000. The Namibian reported that his promotion was “seen in some quarters as an attempt by Swapo to demarginalise the Mafwe ethnic group who have long complained they been excluded from the highest echelons of power” (The Namibian, March 28 2000).
Simunja hails from Linyanti, the same area as exiled secessionist leader Mishake Muyongo. Following the separatist attacks in Caprivi in 1999, President Sam Nujoma was no doubt mindful of the need to increase Mafwe representation in parliament.
In 2004 he was placed at number 24 on the Swapo party list for the NA election. President Hifikepunye Pohamba re-appointed him as Deputy Minister of Defence in March 2005.
In 2002 Simunja, who is an artillery expert, called on the government to stop issuing firearms licences to civilians. During a debate on a motion on crime in the NA, he said that by stopping all citizens from owning small firearms, such as pistols, government would ensure that criminals would not turn the firearms on innocent civilians.
|Born on March 23 1958 at Linyanti in the Caprivi region. Lives at Linyanti, Caprivi region.|
|Certificate in Military Law, Unam (1997). Command and General Staff Course, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA (1992-93). Trained as Combined Arms Officer, Vystrel Military Academy, Moscow, Soviet Union (1982). Trained as Artillery Commander, Angola (1980). Trained as Artillery Operator, Oshatotwa, Zambia (1975).|
|Deputy Minister for Defence since 2000. Member of National Assembly since 2000. Commander, Artillery Regiment (2000). NDF Commander in Kavango (1999-2000). Staff Officer in charge of operations and commitments, Ministry of Defence (1995-99). Staff Officer for Operations and Training, Grootfontein (1994-95). Chief Instructor, Okahandja Military School (1993-94). Deputy Commander, Oshakati (1990-92). Captain, Presidential Guard (1990). Plan combatant in Zambia and Angola (1975-1989). Served with Cuban Artillery Regiment in Angola.|
|Defence and security, land issues.|
|Ministry of Defence, Private Bag 13307, Windhoek; tel: (061) 204 2003;
fax: (061) 204 2226.