Some Omatjete residents fear possible neglect by UDF

06 Dec 2015 09:20am
OKOMBAHE, 06 DEC (NAMPA) - Some inhabitants of Omatjete say they fear the United Democratic Front (UDF) will neglect development projects at the settlement as most people there are Swapo-party supporters.
Omatjete is located 60 kilometres north-west of Omaruru in the Erongo Region.
In the Regional Council Election last Friday, UDF’s Joram Kennedy !Haoseb defeated Swapo’s former councillor Ehrnst Katjiku with 1 589 votes to become the new councillor for the Daures Constituency, under which Omatjete falls.
Katjiku recorded 1 390 votes of which 70 per cent came from Omatjete, 20 per cent from the Uis settlement and the remaining 10 per cent from Okombahe, where UDF has the most support.
The chairperson of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, which rules Omatjete, said as most of the community members are Swapo supporters, they fear that the new UDF councillor might not complete development projects started by Katjiku.
He referred to the oxidation pond and two sewage pump stations worth N.dollars 5 million nearing completion in Omatjete, and the plans to construct a police station there next year.
Fabianus Hirikee Uaseuapuani confirmed to Nampa on Saturday that some community members told him they fear being neglected by UDF.
The traditional leader said community members apparently fear that !Haoseb might not lobby for further development in Omatjete, but instead develop Okombahe, where most of his party’s supporters in the area reside.
“I am not saying !Haoseb is not good, but I know Katjiku very well. He is a hard-working man who brought development which former UDF councillor Apius Auchab could not bring,” said Uaseuapuani.
Auchab is now the UDF president.
Development such as rural electrification, education support in terms of computer donations, cultural festival sites and campsites in Okombahe and Omatjete are cited as developments that took place under Katjiku’s tenure.
“When the UDF were campaigning for the elections they never came to Omatjete, this could mean they do not see our people as part of them and might not bring development here,” Uaseuapuani said.
Another resident, Phillip Ngunovandu on Saturday confirmed some community members’ fears.
However, he does not believe the new councillor will neglect people on the basis of political support.
“It is not only Uaseuapuani who feels like that, a lot of people in Omatjete have that fear. But I do not think the councillor will neglect his mandate to serve everybody,” Ngunovandu said.
Responding on behalf of UDF and !Haoseb, Auchab said people should not fear that they will be overlooked.
“Government projects are meant for everyone. As a party representing the people we will make sure all of them get what they need,” he said.
He explained that a councillor is a servant of the community, and not party supporters, thus he will lobby for benefits for all.
“When I was a councillor from 2006 I brought development for everybody such as electricity, so people should not think we will only work for our members,” Auchab told this news agency.
With regards to the campaigning, he concurred that Omatjete is a Swapo stronghold, followed by the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and DTA of Namibia.
He said the party prioritised Okombahe during its campaigns as they have more support there.
“We do not really campaign in Omatjete because we know there are only a few supporters. However, we campaigned by speaking to individuals there,” said the UDF leader.
Allegations that Katjiku used to communicate more with the people of Omatjete and the Zeraeua Traditional Authority than with those at Okombahe, where his office is situated, were denied.
The Okombahe community is led by the !Oe-#Gan Traditional Authority under Chief Immanuel /Gaseb.
“I was a constituency leader who served everyone. I did not side with any traditional authority leadership or neglect any community on the basis that they did not support Swapo,” Katjiku said.