Rundu Town Council in limbo

18 Dec 2018 19:50pm
RUNDU, 18 DEC (NAMPA) – The delay in swearing in Rundu Town Council office bearers due to Swapo councillors’ infights is worrisome, Chairperson of the Rundu Concerned Citizens Association Reginald Ndara said here on Tuesday.
The swearing-in ceremony of new councillors that was set for Monday failed to take place for the second time, as power battles among the Swapo councillors continue.
The fights intensified following a second directive allegedly received from the office of the Swapo party Secretary-General (SG) Sophia Shaningwa on Monday, directing that the status quo regarding the positions remain.
The directive has been the bone of contention among councilors, with one camp consisting of Mayor Verna Sinimbo and her deputy Ralf Ihemba deciding not to be part of the swearing-in ceremony, unless the directive is followed.
The other camp of members of the management committee: Annastacia Shinduvi-Foya, Toini Hausiku and Isak Lumbala want change to be effected, especially to the position of mayor.
“This is an indication that the Swapo party local authority councillors in Rundu are not serious about the execution of their responsibilities as mandated by the residents of the town,” charged Ndara, who is also a local authority councillor.
He said instead of the councillors engaging in constructive discussions in order to find workable solutions to the problems experienced by the residents, they are fighting among themselves for positions.
“This can be described as a lack of leadership and management skills on the part of the party in Rundu,” the councillor said.
He asked why residents should continue to observe and tolerate these behaviours by elected leaders while they are in need of better quality services.
The town is experiencing problems such as lack of sufficient water and poor refuse removal programmes, which has led to the town now being branded as the dirtiest town in the country, he said.
New roads are not being constructed while the old ones are full of potholes and not maintained.
“Rundu also has a lack of clear and proper land management policies which has led to illegal land grabbing everywhere,” he noted.
Ndara said it is high time the local leadership starts performing to the expectations of locals as stipulated in the Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992.
Swapo District Coordinator Malakia Muranda told Nampa on Monday the district executives called a meeting on Saturday to decide whether to follow the SG’s directives, but failed to form a quorum.
Thus the decision lies with the regional executive committee to decide on the way forward.
The party’s regional coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi said the district executives have been writing letters on the issue straight to the SG without consultation with her office and for this reason, she did not want to get involved.
Swapo SG Sophia Shaningwa told Nampa on Monday she did not want to discuss Swapo matters with the media when told that the swearing-in ceremony had been called again off due to infights.