RUNDU - Rundu local authority councillor Reginald Ndara says there is a need for political parties’ constitutions and the local authorities act to be harmonised in order to prevent circumstances that lead to recent squabbling and the short-lived rebellion that resulted in the election of a new mayor.
The rebellion within the ranks of Swapo councillors was however quelled when Swapo party secretary general Sophia Shaningwa recalled the mayor, the deputy mayor and the chairperson of the management committee elected when defiant councillors refused to implement her directive.
Ndara who also serves as the chairperson of the Rundu Concerned Citizens Association (RCCA) and on that basis is a councillor on the RCCA ticket told New Era that he believes the mayor for any city and town council should be directly elected by the residents of any particular city or a town and be given the executive power to appoint the deputy mayor and the management committee to be accountable to the council through the appointing authority in this case the mayor, in order to prevent any power squabbles between the management committee and the mayor’s office.
Ndara suggested that the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development should propose in parliament for an amendment to the Local Authorities Act 23 of 1992 as amended to cater for executive mayors.
“We at RCCA strongly believes this may lessen and minimise the tug of war between the mayor’s office and the management committee of any council. We also think that it’s high time the line ministry starts moving in that direction, despite having the party list system in place, the mayor should be elected directly by the residents and we also propose that the office bearers of any council should be elected or appointed for one (1) five year term instead of electing office bearers every year, this may prevent some infighting every year,” further suggested Ndara.
He said that for any organisation to be successful there must be a mutual understanding and cooperation, saying it’s very important sometimes to consult properly and even to compromise if need be, for the sake of unity and progress.
“I’m not disputing the fact that local authority councillors are elected on the proportional basis party list, but once the local authority councillors are elected, I believe that the fundamental right to choose the office bearers democratically should be guaranteed as per the local authorities act. Therefore, RCCA is appealing to the line ministry vested with the power to supervise and coordinate the activities of Local Authorities in Namibia to intervene in order to find an everlasting solution to these types of problems in the future,” he said.
Ndara also noted since last November when the conflict among Swapo party local authority councillors started, he had noted the Swapo councillors had refused to heed any advice.
“Leaders who do not possess the leadership qualities to resolve disputes or conflicts cannot lead successfully, no matter what,” he said.
Ndara during the last swearing in ceremony held last Thursday decided not to participate because of the division amongst the fellow councillors.