|GaroŽb, Justus - UDF|
|Justus GaroŽb has led the United Democratic Front (UDF) since its formation in 1989. Since then the party has maintained a presence in parliament, largely because of its Damara support base in the Erongo and Kunene regions.
GaroŽb started out in tribal politics in 1971 as a member of the Damara Council (DC), which was supposed to prepare the way for a Damara homeland. However, the Council did not participate in the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference (1975-77).
In 1977 GaroŽb took over as Chairperson of the DC, following the death of Chief David Goreseb. He took the DC into the Namibia National Front (NNF), which was opposed to the Turnhalle process but fizzled out in 1981.
In 1980 Garoeb set up the DC as a political party, which participated in elections for Damara Second Tier Authority. The DC joined the Multi-Party Conference in 1983, but pulled out a year later and announced its support for Swapo. GaroŽb attended Swapoís consultative conference in Lusaka, Zambia in 1984.
He founded the UDF in 1989 as an alliance that included a group of former Swapo detainees (the Patriotic Unity Movement). The alliance won four seats in the first National Assembly (NA).
GaroŽb is also the Damara Chief and in 1994 assumed the title Damara King. In 1996 the government introduced a law barring traditional chiefs from being MPs as well. GaroŽb left parliament in June 1996. He said the move was not linked to the recognition of his chieftainship, but would rather allow him to complete his research on the history of the Damara traditional community.
He returned to the National Assembly in 1998, having officially passed his responsibilities as the traditional leader of the Damaras on to Pastor Eliphas Eiseb. He took part in the 1999 Presidential election in which he gained three percent of the vote. At the time he said he wanted the UDF to be seen as an alternative political home for all Namibians, rather than just a party for Damaras. In the 2004 Presidential election, GaroŽb came fifth out of seven candidates, gaining four percent of the vote.
In 2000 his party entered an agreement with the DTA that enabled their coalition to have the status of official opposition, as together the parties had more seats than the Congress of Democrats (CoD). The arrangement came to an end in 2005, when the CoD did become the official opposition. In 2005, shortly before the 2000-2005 NA wound up, GaroŽb resigned his seat so that he could take a pension payout. He was back in his seat when the newly elected MPs gathered a few weeks later.
|Born on December 16 1942 at Omaruru in the Erongo region. Lives at Khorixas, Kunene region.|
|Studied at the University of South Africa, South Africa, Augustineum Training College, Okahandja.|
|Member of the National Assembly since 1998 and from 1990-96. Member of Constituent Assembly (1989-90). UDF President since 1989.
Legislative interests: Constitutional matters and multi-party democracy.
|Constitutional matters and multi-party democracy.|
|National Assembly, Private Bag 13323, Windhoek;
tel: (061) 288 9111.