KEETMANSHOOP, 22 MAY (NAMPA) ? Keetmanshoop mayor Moses Titus has conceded that all is not rosy at the town council, even admitting that the councillors are guilty of several transgressions.
The Keetmanshoop Town Council was investigated by the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD) in April this year, following allegations of power struggles, neglect of duties and political divisions there.
Addressing community members at a meeting where the municipality presented the investigation outcome on Tuesday, Titus said: ?Enough is enough. We as the town council is guilty for some of these issues and now it is time to get things in order.?
Titus said the whole council is guilty for the many problems which were identified by the report, and he apologised to the residents of the town and promised that the council will focus on getting things right from now on.
The report stated that the council is in disarray and is not operating as expected. It pointed out that there is a total breakdown of systems within the municipality as well as an absolute disregard of the laws and regulations.
Political groupings among the councillors were identified as a major problem, along with the lack of communication between the council and community members. This lack of communication has resulted in land grabs, petitions and a general lack of trust between various stakeholders at the town.
?The law requires a council to have at least 10 ordinary council meetings a year. Keetmanshoop council only had four, and numerous special council meetings,? reads the report.
It also states that the staff and salary structure of the council is outdated and no longer serves the needs of the council. For instance, there is a glaring absence of required experts such as town planners and engineers on the institution?s structure.
The report further states that the council spends a lot of money in paying lawyers on court cases, some of which are not followed up to a logical conclusions even though the lawyers get paid for the work.
?We have used more than a million dollars in the court case between chief administrative officer Hansina Isaaks and the council, which the council lost. So, we agree that such spending should be stopped,? Titus said.
In the report, Titus was advised to be a unifying figure and not to be part of any groupings as he is supposed to guard the council against such divisive forces.
?He (Titus) does not have decision-making powers outside the council, or to give instructions to officers without council resolutions,? the report clarified.
Following the investigation, the council was spared from being dissolved and it was given a second chance ?to clean up its mess? within six months.
Titus promised that the council will be unified, and he said he has already started correcting the issues mentioned in the report.
Residents accepted the apology and urged the council and the whole community to work together to achieve development for the town.
?We should be united and build the town. I am concerned about the future of my children and grandchildren who might live in poverty if we do not work now,? said one male resident.