Positions of Okahandja mayor and deputy nullified

24 Jan 2014 20:20pm
OKAHANDJA, 24 JAN (NAMPA) – The Okahandja Town Council has no mayor, deputy mayor and chairperson of the management committee since Wednesday this week.
The Okahandja Town councillors were on Wednesday called into a meeting by the Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Priscilla Beukes in Windhoek, where the positions of mayor, deputy mayor and chairperson of the management committee were nullified.
The meeting was attended by five Okahandja local authority councilors on the instruction of the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Charles Namoloh.
Namoloh had earlier questioned how two political positions at the Okahandja Town Council were filled in December 2013.
It is alleged that two vacancies, that of mayor and deputy mayor, were unprocedurally filled on 04 December 2013 during the annual internal local authority election.
One of the Okahandja town councillors, Valarie Aron earlier said that on 04 December 2013 the Okahandja former mayor Dawid Uri-Kob had resigned, therefore his position was filled by the next person who appeared on the Swapo-Party list - her.
Aron was also nominated by other councillors to stand for mayor.
Consequently, she was elected as new mayor of Okahandja from the position of chairperson of the Okahandja Town Council’s management committee.
Niklaas Steenkamp was voted as her deputy to replace Paulina Gomusab who was allegedly recalled from the town council by the Swapo Party on allegations that she belonged to two different political parties.
Selma Itoolwa was elected ordinary member of the management committee, and Computer Kupaha Simson Mieze chairperson of the management committee.
Steenkamp and Itoolwa were sworn in as new members of the Okahandja Town Council on the Swapo-Party ticket on 04 December 2013.
The election also saw Andries Bezuidenhout of the United People’s Movement (UPM) elected as new member of the management committee, Fredrick Shimanda of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and Estha Garoes of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) elected as ordinary council members.
The source further said Beukes explained to the five councillors that since Uri-Kob resigned as mayor shortly before the swearing-in ceremony of councillors at the town, his position was supposed to be first gazzetted in the Government Gazette.
And since Gomusab and Uri-Kob were Swapo-Party councillors, their political party was expected to write a letter notifying the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development of the two councillors’ resignations.
The Swapo-Party was also supposed to nominate successors to those positions, after which the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development should inform the Okahandja Chief Executive Officer, Frans Enkali of the two political vacancies at the town council.
Only then could the seven town councillors contest for the three vacant positions.
“For now we are all ordinary councillors,” explained the source.
The three positions are expected to be filled in February 2014 once the normal procedures are followed.
(NAMPA)
MS/ND