UPM threatens to boycott council elections in Rehoboth

01 Dec 2016 17:10pm
MARIENTAL, 01 DEC (NAMPA) – The United People’s Movement (UPM) has threatened to boycott the upcoming elections for new town council members until the issues surrounding the Rehoboth Town Council (RTC) are resolved.
The elections are scheduled for Friday.
The party released a media statement on Wednesday which quoted UPM Acting Deputy Secretary-General (SG) Jolene Jarman-Jaftha as saying UPM has noted that arrangements have been made to re-elect the “incompetent” Swapo councillors to serve for another term.
The RTC has five Swapo-party councillors and two from UPM.
Jarman-Jaftha said UPM will continue to fight for justice and speak out against alleged corrupt practices and poor service delivery by the RTC.
The party called on Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa to stop the re-election of office-bearers until the directive issued by the minister last week is fully implemented.
The RTC councillors were summoned by Shaningwa last Wednesday. She directed the council to comply with the recommendations contained in a report drawn up after an investigation into a host of irregularities at the council in January this year.
Among the irregularities were the reinstatement of Human Resource Manager Willie Swartz.
Swartz was recently suspended for allegedly transferring N.dollars 3 million into his personal bank account from the account of the town council. He is also charged with failure to repay study loans amounting to N.dollars 30 000, among 20 other charges he faces.
“UPM councillors, during a special council meeting on Monday, made it clear that we support the implementation of the recommendations by the minister and want it implemented immediately,” the statement reads.
The party said if the election takes place, they will instruct their councillors not to participate.
Contacted for comment, Chairperson of the Management Committee, Winston |Uirab dismissed UPM’s claims.
He said they postponed the meeting to discuss the recommendations to 06 December to also see the availability of the task team from the ministry on the way forward.
“They should stop lying and face reality so we can work for the good of the town. They are the ones causing discord in this town,” |Uirab hit back.