Shaningwa lashes out at Rehoboth councillors

01 Aug 2017 11:20am
REHOBOTH, 01 AUG (NAMPA) – Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa on Monday visited Rehoboth to familiarise herself with the town’s affairs and to observe first-hand the sewerage problems residents have been complaining about.
Shaningwa grilled the councillors, asking them why they make the residents suffer because of infighting and why Rehoboth is constantly in the news for the wrong reasons.
“I read about the fights and sewerage problems of Rehoboth in newspapers almost every day. You have been appointed by people to work for them and if you don’t work, they have the right to stand up against you,” she said.
The town’s Block A, C and E residential areas are constantly flooded with sewage water, which poses a health risk to residents. She also visited two of the three sewerage pumps in the town.
Shaningwa told the councillors to work harder towards developing the town.
“Rehoboth can’t be left behind because of infighting... Why are you getting big headed and leaving the town to fall behind? You are here to do your duty and that is to work for the community,” she said.
Swapo councillor Jonas Mathew pleaded with the ministry to assist the Rehoboth Town Council with rehabilitating the pumps, to which Shaningwa responded that they have unauthorised and illegal expenditure. She was referring to the appointment of Human Resource (HR) Manager Willie Swartz being illegally appointed and thus getting an unauthorised salary from the council.
Approximately 150 disgruntled Rehoboth residents last Friday morning stormed the Rehoboth Town Council Chambers and called for the removal of Swartz.
A forensic investigation by a ministerial team in January 2016 found that Swartz was appointed when the council was on recess and his appointment is thus illegal.
“You have illegal expenditure and you are asking the government to assist. How do you want the government to assist if you are paying someone appointed illegally?” Shaningwa asked.
She said she gave the council a directive to remove Swartz as HR manager.
“Should I come and run the town council for you? Are you appointed by Swartz? Don’t wait for me to come here and pull someone by the nose and drag them out of here. Adhere to orders given to you and implement them,” Shaningwa said.