The Affirmative Repositioning movement has neither taken a resolution or sanctioned any of its deployees to the Windhoek municipality to pass a vote of no confidence in the current management committee.
Ironically, Windhoek councillor Ilse Keister, who is on the AR ticket on Wednesday moved a motion of no confidence in the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC)-dominated Windhoek municipal council MC, citing gross incompetence and external interference.
AR does not take this move lightly, if reaction by its national spokesperson Simon Amunime is anything to go by.
He added that their two representatives – Job Amupanda and Keister – will be called to account for the mess at the city and their role in its affairs.
“The AR movement has not sanctioned any vote of no confidence in any structure of the city, nor have we delegated or authorised or taken a resolution for one of our representatives at the city to participate in the agenda of passing a vote of no confidence,” Amunime said.
According to the spokesperson, he only learned about Keister’s motion through social media.
It is unprecedented, he said.
“If councillor Ilse Keister is indeed responsible for that, we are going to call her and make sure that she is disciplined,” he said.
The land and social justice activist branded Keister’s move as counter revolutionary as it flies in the face of collectivism “for someone who serves on an AR ticket”.
“It is very important to consult the movement on pertinent issues like that, so that we give guidance and direction in terms of what must happen.
“The city is a big machine. It is the administrative capital of Namibia. It is not just something where you can wake up from a bar and take a decision by yourself,” a clearly disappointed Amunime vented.
Efforts to reach Keister were unsuccessful as her phone went unanswered. She did not reply to a detailed text message.
Amunime expressed utter disappointment in the affairs of the city, saying it has been reduced to a kindergarten-like institution.
“The 15 councillors are fighting like kindergarten kids. We have not heard of them speaking about land delivery. Where have we heard them speaking about giving people toilets or electricity or formalising the informal settlement? Nothing,” he said.
For Amunime, enough is enough with the shenanigans at the city.
“We are not going to tolerate such behaviour. Our belief is that, since no one has absolute majority, it is of paramount importance that all of them put their egos and differences aside and work together for the benefit and betterment of the 500 000 residents of Windhoek,” he said.
The motion, seen by New Era, Keister is pulling no punches, saying the current MC inspires no confidence in the municipal council in particular and Windhoek residents in general.
The wheels were set in motion in terms of Rule 19 (2).
She says at the level of council, the implementation of resolutions are deliberately ignored while questions posed by councillors to the MC fall on deaf ears.
“As a result of this failure by the MC, the residents remain despondent and form an impression that council is unable to execute its duties,” Keister asserts.
She also accuses the MC of unfair labour practices it purportedly metes out to some employees.
Keister is also at pains that the current MC is dominated by the IPC, which, according to her, has exposed the entire council to a third force.
At present, the MC is composed of four IPC councillors and one from the Landless People’s Movement.
“This basically means that MC is not run by member of council as per the provisions of the act but by external political interest. As a case in point, 99% of the members of MC are currently under several restrictions in terms of how they preside over specific matters,” she said.
She was seemingly referring to the travel moratorium placed on IPC councillors.
Several measures must be taken “to avoid a leadership vacuum and should this motion be carried, it is advised that a special council meeting be held within a week after this motion is passed.”
According to laws governing local authorities, a mayor or deputy mayor or chairperson or vice-chairperson shall vacate their roles if the local authority council resolves by a majority of all its members that it has no confidence in them.
MC chairperson, Ndeshihafela Larandja is not surprised by the vote.
From her vantage point, it is just part of a bigger plot to topple the current MC for its stance against appointing a Windhoek CEO under dubious circumstances.
“AR is against the decision taken by the management committee to start the recruitment process afresh. I am seeing this as the last option or resort to counter the MC decision and the instruction I have given to the acting CEO to implement,” Larandja said.
Recently, former Windhoek mayor, Amupanda wrote to acting Windhoek CEO, O’Brien Hekandjo cautioning him against re-starting the recruitment process.
“You can link the two. The move is simple. It is just to remove the current MC members because the MC has the power to recommend or not to recommend the candidates for the position of CEO to council,” she said.
Larandja theorised how things could unfold.
“If they happen to remove us, [they are going to] review our decision and go ahead with the appointment of the recommended candidate amidst the irregularities in the appointment process,” she said.
She is, however, disappointed in the manner it surfaced.
Under normal circumstances, such a document should be availed to councillors with the agenda prior to a council meeting.
The next ordinary council meeting is on 28 July.
When contacted for comment, Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas was unaware of the motion.
So was former mayor Fransina Kahungu.
However, Gawanas hastened to say it was within Keister’s right to invoke her rights if she deemed it necessary while Kahungu could only make an informed comment after seeing the motion.
Last week, New Era reported on political jostling at the city.
According to insiders, a process to form a new coalition and topple the IPC is in motion. It is headed by the ruling Swapo party, the paper understands.
A marriage of convenience between Swapo, AR, Popular Democratic Movement, National Unity Democratic Organisation and the LPM has been mooted.