RUNDU - Former Rundu mayor Verna Sinimbo says she has not defied the Swapo Party constitution or the Local Authorities Act by not availing herself to serve on the management committee as she is at liberty to serve the town as an ordinary councillor.
The Rundu Town Council is in limbo as it does not have enough councillors on its management committee, which has impacted the operations of the town council.
She says she is available to diligently serve the Rundu community as an ordinary councillor but not on the management committee, which is provided for in the Local Authorities Act.
“Not all councillors are members of the management, some are ordinary councillors including councillors in the Rundu Town Council, and it is how it has been all these years,” she said in a statement.
“Most importantly, there are other councillors who can equally best serve in the management committee, that is why I have been flabbergasted and can’t understand why the binoculars are focused on Sinimbo if there are so many options to fill the one vacancy,” she said.
“I have principles at stake here and will stand firm come rain or sunshine. I have not defied the Swapo Party constitution, rules and procedures, have not defied Political Bureau, have not defied the District Executive Committee, have not defied the Local Authorities Act and I have not defied the my principles. The other three councillors have defied to the core the provisions of the Local Authorities Act…” she added.
During mid-term elections in November last year, Sinimbo was voted out of the mayoral position but a directive from Swapo dictated that the election result be set aside and that the status quo remain.
The status quo would have meant that Sinimbo continues to be mayor, but the majority of Swapo councillors ignored the party directive and went ahead with deployments as per the outcome of the election.
Having defied the party, Rundu councillors were summoned to meet the party’s top leadership in Windhoek where a decision was taken that council adopts the result of the mid-term election that ousted Sinimbo.
With a new mayor sworn in, Sinimbo, alongside her cronies in council, has consistenly declined nominations to be a member of the management committee.
Rundu remains without a management committee due to such perpatual rejections of nomination, a situation that recently forced acting CEO for Rundu Town Council Sikongo Haihambo to tender his resignation.
Haihambo told New Era that many of council’s functions are affected by lack of a management committee, an important body in terms of both governance and service delivery.
Sinimbo says there are ways and options to resolve the management committee issue at council: “I subscribe to the notion that rendering public services at any local authority is paramount, in the interest of the community as per the manifesto of Swapo Party on whose ticket I am serving as a councillor. There are a couple of options in filling the position in the management committee,” she further stated in the letter.
“The Minister of Urban and Rural Development may consider withdrawing all the councillors and empower the current acting CEO to run the affairs of the town without a council,” she said.
“Or the current deputy mayor can relinquish herself from the deputy mayoral position and become a member of the management committee or the two councillors who are serving on Swapo Party ticket, namely Anastacia Shinduvi-Antonio and Toini Hausiku, who nominated councillor Matheus Wakudumo of All People’s Party into the management committee, may wish to extend their courtesy, by nominating and seconding another opposition member, Reginald Ndara, representative of the Rundu Concerned Citizens Association to join them in the management committee,” she noted.
“They have done it with All People’s Party thus nominating another opposition member won’t make much of a difference,” she added.
“I have principles and will never make a mockery of the ethos and values of fairness, justice, democracy and lawfulness in this instance as far as Swapo Party constitution, rules and procedures are concerned and my arrogance is informed by my convictions for fairness and justice without fear or favour. You may cut off my legs and call me Shorty but this is my position,” she stated.