UPM says Rehoboth councillors support corrupt official

17 Nov 2016 13:00pm
REHOBOTH, 17 NOV (NAMPA) – The United People’s Movement (UPM) has accused Swapo councillors in Rehoboth of turning a blind eye to the alleged fraudulent activities of under-fire Human Resources (HR) Manager Willie Swartz.
During an extra-ordinary meeting at the party’s headquarters here on Tuesday, the party indicated that it is of the opinion that the Swapo-led council is “doing everything in its power to destroy the town of Rehoboth”.
The party then released a media statement which quoted UPM Acting Deputy Secretary-General (SG) Jolene Jarman-Jaftha as saying Rehoboth residents are frustrated with the council as it allegedly “supports corruption”.
“Efforts to get a workable solution from the line ministry has proved futile. Swartz is untouchable. We have on numerous occasions through our representative in Parliament tried to bring the squabble of the Rehoboth Town Council (RTC) to the attention of other parliamentarians,” she said.
Swartz was last Thursday suspended for allegedly transferring N.dollars 13 million to his personal account from the accounts of the town council. Amongst the charges are absenteeism, failing to repay study loans amounting to N.dollars 30 000 and negligence. Swartz faces 20 charges in total.
He was reinstated on Friday.
UPM National Chairperson Jan van Wyk has indicated that he is still waiting for the findings of investigations into the affairs of the RTC and the alleged illegal appointment of Swartz.
“The silence can be read as approval to continue corruption by those who are involved in such practices. We are convinced that the Swapo councillors do not have a clue about local government, do not adhere to the Local Authority Act and refuse to be advised by capable people. Instead they have opted to side with Swartz despite the serious allegations against him,” Van Wyk said.
Swartz also resigned from the town council in August 2015 and was reappointed in December the same year as HR manager. His reappointment did not sit well with the UPM and members of the community.
The media statement also said UPM is considering legal action against the four Swapo councillors – Mayor Christina Petrus, Management Committee Chairperson Winston |Uirab (not related to Chief Executive Officer Chris |Uirab), Deputy Mayor Eve Maasdorp and Jonas Matthew - claiming it is evident that they constantly violate the LA Act.
They also say the Swapo party has failed to call them to order.
Nampa could only reach one of the three councillors, Matthew, who said they could not talk as they were in a workshop.
Contacted for comment, Hardap Governor Esme Isaack said she could not comment as the RTC has not informed her of Swartz’s suspension and subsequent reinstatement.