Executive director in the information ministry Audrin Mathe has clashed with Hardap Regional Council (HRC) chairperson Gerson Dausab after he questioned the council’s decision to restrain public servants from serving on committees tasked with coordinating Heroes' Day commemoration set for the region on Friday.
This follows Dausab’s notification to acting Hardap Chief Regional Officer (CRO) Julian Engelbrecht that he had not received any communication regarding the planned Heroes’ Day commemoration.
In a letter dated 15 August, seen by New Era, Dausab told Engelbrecht that no employees of the council should partake in organising the said event.
In a late-night media statement on Saturday, Mathe accused Dausab of sabotaging the event by allegedly restraining public servants from serving on committees tasked with coordinating the event at regional level.
“It is with deep regret that the HRC has restrained public servants from serving on committees tasked with coordinating events at the regional level.”
“In observing the hierarchy of norms, the directions of President Hage Geingob to host the Heroes Day commemoration in Mariental will be fully implemented-with or without the HRC’s participation,” Mathe said.
He went on to say Namibia was founded on the idea of a unitary state, which is a constitutional requirement.
“The government will have zero visibility of any attempts to sabotage the commemoration,” he warned.
He said the national preparatory committee under the chairperson and Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa, has mobilised the required human resource capacity to execute the decision already communicated to the HRC and the public.
Accordingly, he called upon all Namibians and the residents of the Hardap region to show up in big numbers to mark the sacrifices of the heroes and heroines of the country.
The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) is in full control of the region following its victory in the 2020 regional elections.
LPM has six seats in the council, while Swapo has one.
LPM says they are unhappy that Simataa first wrote to Hardap governor Salomon April to inform him about the region’s hosting of Heroes' Day remembrance, conveniently “omitting” to inform Dausab.
“He omitted Dausab because his party is essentially LPM, contrary to President Geingob’s assertions that ‘nobody should be left out’ and ‘no exclusivity’ calls. After realising his mistake, Simataa then instructed governor April, the toothless nincompoop and a fool to inform the regional council,” said deputy party leader Henny Seibeb.
Simataa, in a letter dated 16 August, wrote to Dausab apologising for the omission, saying he regrets the error of not having directly engaged Dausab.
“It is of utmost importance that all stakeholders within the Hardap region collaborate to ensure that this event is successful. I, therefore, wish to implore upon the HRC to be available for engagements with the honourable governor and also join the weekly preparatory meeting with the national preparatory committee,” he said in the letter.
In a separate letter dated 19 August, Simataa again wrote to Dausab, highlighting to him that the restraining of public servants from serving on committees is unfortunate and unlawful.
“You have no powers to issue those instructions,” Simataa said wrote.
“We wish to appeal to you to desist from such conduct and allow the staff members to participate in the preparation and organising of the Heroes' Day commemoration. Any further instructions to defy the lawful directive regarding this important national event may result in some serious legal consequences,” Simataa warned.
Dausab did not respond to questions sent to him.
This is the 32nd Heroes' Day celebration.