OMARURU, 18 SEP (NAMPA) -
Erongo Regional Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua on Thursday expressed concern about the prolonged suspension of the Omaruru Town Council.
"I am very worried about the Omaruru Municipality which is operating without a council. I cannot run a region where one of its towns has no councillors," said Mutjavikua.
He was speaking at a meeting held with residents of Omaruru at the Ozondje Community Hall. At the meeting, the governor briefed residents about developments expected at the town in 2016.
Community members also asked him questions or spoke about concerns regarding social and economic development at the town. One of the suspended Omaruru local authority councillors, Albertus !Naruseb asked Mutjavikua about the report on a forensic audit that was conducted at the Omaruru Municipality in 2014 on the instructions of then Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh .
!Naruseb said the forensic audit report must be released to the general public. Namoloh on 16 December 2013 suspended the seven local authority councillors for Omaruru, and instructed an independent auditing firm to audit the books of the municipality.
Two of the suspended councillors are from the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), one from the United Democratic Front (UDF) and Omaruru mayor, Vincent Kahua from the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo).
The three other councillors represented the Swapo Party.
The seven local authority councillors were suspended indefinitely without pay by Namoloh, who accused them of having failed to take up crucial directives from his office. Namoloh then appointed the retired Erongo Chief Regional Officer, Linus //Garoeb as the caretaker of the Omaruru Municipality.
//Garoeb was tasked by Namoloh with managing all affairs of the municipality on his behalf during the council?s suspension. On Thursday evening, Mutjavikua said he is worried about the situation at the municipality.
He said he has on several national platforms expressed his sentiments about the prolonged suspension of the Omaruru Town Council. He concluded the topic by saying that since the judicial system of Namibia is independent, it must be allowed to exercise its mandate without interference.
Several residents then complained to him about the teenage pregnancies they said are on the increase at the town; school drop-outs; youth unemployment; the lack of recreational facilities; un-serviced town land and the filthy state of the Ozondje cemetery; amongst others.
The Governor tackled their concerns one by one and advised the residents to stop complaining and doing nothing, and to instead start small income generating projects. He challenged the youths in the region to bring to his office any viable business ideas to try and secure funding.
Mutjavikua also asked the municipality to set up a date on which a mass cleaning campaign can be held at the Ozondje cemetery under his supervision. The governor said the issue of unserviced land is a national problem, and well-known to the national leaders.
He said the regional leadership of Erongo is busy formulating a plan and mobilising resources that will assist in the servicing of mass residential and business erven at all towns in the region.
He therefore pleaded with the regional inhabitants to be patient.
The public meeting at Ozondje was attended by Special Advisor to the Erongo Regional Governor, Bobby Kandjala and Omaruru Constituency Councillor Mike Tjirare, amongst others.