Rundu Town Council declines civil organisation invite

16 Jul 2015 18:30pm
RUNDU, 16 JUL (NAMPA) – The Rundu Town Council has declined an invitation to a public meeting extended to it by a Rundu-based civil society organization that claims it has uncovered practices of corruption and mismanagement at the town council.
The Kavango Development and Progress Forum (KDPF) plans to hold a mass community meeting at the town on Saturday 18 July 2015 to reveal their findings.
The meeting is aimed at demanding for answers on allegations that the Rundu Town Council has failed to call any information sharing meetings with the public, has issues with refuse removal and allegedly corrupt practices within the council.
Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, town Mayor and Chairperson of the Rundu Town Council, Hilka Levi said before the council accepts an invitation to attend the planned public meeting, it would first like to engage with the executive committee or leaders of the KDPF by way of a meeting.
“Secondly, we would also like to give these leaders the platform to bring to the table, the issues that are of concern to them rather than have some sort of debate with them in the presence of the general public.” she explained.
Levi said the procedure the KDPF took by announcing the invitation on the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation’s RuKavango Service was wrong, stating that she would like to enlighten the group’s leaders on the correct processes of engaging with and eventually demanding elected councillors to attend a public meeting.
“We are therefore informing the public and especially Rundu residents that we are not against their meeting, however the emphasis is that doing things procedurally is the only way which participative communication can be enhanced.” she urged.
The KDPF, she further said, were notified via a formal letter that the local authority’s councillors will not attend the planned meeting due to the manner in which they were invited, which is not in accordance with Local Authority Act Number 23 of 1992.
The Rundu Town Council did not suggest a date to meet with the KDPF but says it is up to the leadership to decide when they would like to meet with the local authority councillors.
“Allegations will remain allegations until they are confirmed. So, as long as they are allegations we would like to have them resolved. We have an arm of the government which is the Anti-Corruption Commission and (ACC) they can come in and investigate on the allegations and make the findings public.” the Mayor said about the allegations on corruption that many are reading about on social media and listening to on radio.
Levi said as a council according to the Act, it is obliged to carry out public meetings where they go and discuss issues concerning development of the town or any other issues.
However, many a times these meetings, she said, end up in chaos.
Secretary of KDPF, Linus Neumbo said the content of the response they received from the Rundu Town Council differs from the Act.
Neumbo said the KDPF never requested the Chairperson of the LAC to convene a meeting, as the KDPF invited them to a public meeting.
“Since 2011, they failed to hold one single public meeting to which residents would be invited and tell them about development programs,” Neumbo lashed out.
It is the electorate who voted them into power he added, noting that the Rundu town councillors fear the truth that will come out at the public meeting in which many are implicated.
He said the meeting will continue as planned, questioning why councillors fear going to the electorate who voted them into power, adding that when they were campaigning to be voted into power, they did not go to trees or offices but went to the electorate; the people.