Swakopmund's new mayor is illegal: Swapo

08 Dec 2015 16:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 08 DEC (NAMPA) - The new mayor of Swakopmund, Paulina Nashilundo and her deputy Maria Elago are allegedly in their positions against a Swapo directive.
These Swapo councillors were sworn in on Friday with the rest of the town councillors.
Swapo coordinator for the Erongo Region, Philipus Heita confirmed to Nampa upon enquiry Monday that the Swapo District of Swakopmund did not follow a directive from the party’s Secretary-General (SG), Nangolo Mbumba on the placing of the office-bearers.
This directive, issued last week Tuesday before the swearing-in ceremony of the town council, stated that former mayor, Nehemiah Salomon was supposed to return to that position with Nashilundo as deputy.
This Nampa reporter had seen the directive from Mbumba.
Salomon is now an ordinary member of the Swakopmund Town Council management committee, while Elago was supposed to be a member of the management committee.
A source close to Swapo who wish to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, told Nampa on Monday that the Swakopmund District Executive Committee under District Coordinator, Connie Basson defied the directive from the high office.
The same source said the final placement of Swapo councillors in local authorities lies with the party’s national executive committee. These officials are placed based on their capabilities, education, experience and trust among other requirements.
Approached for comment, Nashilundo said they were informed about the directive shortly before the swearing-in ceremony but they followed the district committee’s decision on the placement of Swapo councillors.
She could, however, not say why they favoured the district decision.
“As candidates, we did not take part in the decision making, but were advised as per the party procedures to follow what was decided,” said Nashilundo briefly.
Similar ‘misplacements’ also took place in Walvis Bay, where Penelope Martin, who is now an ordinary member, was supposed to chair the management committee of that town council.
The Swapo Walvis Urban District Executive Committee allegedly gave Tobias Nambala the position of chairperson of the management committee when the directive, also seen by Nampa, had placed him as an alternative member.
Ndishoshili Nghilumbwa, who is now a member of management committee, was supposed to be the deputy chairperson of that committee.
Paulus Kauhondamwa was elected as deputy chairperson of the management committee but according to the directive he is supposed to be an ordinary member of that committee.
Also approached for comment, Basson first demanded to know who gave Nampa the information, but later confirmed the decision to place councillors was made by the district executive committee, where she is a leader.
Basson explained that she did not make changes to the names alone and executed a collective decision made by the committee.
“You can publish whatever you like. I will see what will be published and if it is not correct there will be consequences,” she threatened.
Risto Nambombola, the party’s district coordinator for Walvis Urban, said the committee advised members on who should be in which position and that was before the directive from Mbumba was issued.
“We did not defy the directive but it is because we made a decision before it was issued,” said Nambombola.
Asked whether the district committee would withdraw the decision since it is in defiance of a decision by the office of the party’s SG, he said it is up to the national executive committee or the politburo to decide.
As such, the Swapo politburo is expected to decide whether the councillors will be reshuffled or not.
This high-level decision-making body within Swapo is also expected to decide on the consequences for those found guilty of defying the directives.
Mbumba could not be reached for comment on the issue as his phone was not reachable for most of Tuesday. A text message sent to his mobile phone was also not replied by the time of filing this story.