• September 27th, 2020
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Umunee Mariine Matundu… A young lawyer with a passion for people and social issues

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK - The newly appointed director of the People’s Litigation Centre says the main goal is helping the community as a litigation centre and to relate to cases that affect the rights of many vulnerable people intending to cover a larger base. 

The 22-year-old Umunee Mariine Matundu chose law because it is broad in its nature and application. “I’ve never liked the idea of a single focus to the exclusion of other possibilities and interpretation of anything. The reason being society is dynamic and has many moving parts, which we must find a way to merge. The failure in merging will lead to the exclusion of certain individuals,” she outlined. 

Passionate about people and social issues, Matundu holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons) from the University of Namibia (Unam) and previously worked at the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC). “I knew law would afford me the ability to become a critical thinker and allow me to continuously recreate myself in my career path,” said Matundu. 

Her work experience, especially coming from the Legal Assistance Centre, has allowed her to understand the dynamics of the work of the civic society in representing the will and interest of citizens. She has also come to understand the important role an institution like the People’s Litigation Centre can play in enhancing transparency and good governance in a developing country such as Namibia by contributing to increased public debate on issues surrounding the formulation and implementation of government budgets and the impact of such budgets on social justice.

She brings along passion, knowledge, and insight as to what it takes to run a centre of this nature. This applies to tackle the challenges which arise with pro bono institutions but also more so the ability to be strategic both as it relates to being sustainable, being able to be effective and to reach as many people as possible with available resources.

 Being a young female professional can be daunting, especially in male-dominated industries, however, Matundu is not concerned about that. When Youth Corner asked her how she would ensure that as the head of the centre she is taken seriously, she acknowledged the relevance of the query. “Quite frankly, the question in itself acknowledges the already existing patriarchy and misogynistic beliefs and behavioural patterns within workspaces and society at large,” she stated. 

Matundu said she is qualified and experienced. “I am a creative problem solver, therefore, my performance will ensure that my work is respected. Ultimately, my goal is to continue to grow and learn from those who have gone before me and to not forget that I am at the table because I have what it takes to be here. My focus is on delivering impeccable work and maintaining integrity in my position. Everything else is secondary,” she highlighted. 

People’s Litigation Centre is a newly established social justice centre that will focus on socio-economic rights. Focal areas will include, among others, health care, housing and accountable governance as it relates to the advancement of the rule of law, transparency and the fight against corruption and economic crimes. 

“The vision of the centre is to advance socio-economic rights in Namibia through access to information, research that contributes to law reform, and helping people access legal remedies in social justice areas,” said Matundu.

New Era Reporter
2019-08-14 07:53:10 1 years ago

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