OMUTHIYA – There was high drama at the Omuthiya Town Council yesterday as newly elected Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillors staged a walkout midway during the swearing-in ceremony of the new council.
The councillors Petrina Shiindi, Beata Josef and Thomas Ekandjo walked out in protest of the voting outcome, which saw four Swapo members occupying the management committee positions.
The IPC members, before walking out, told presiding magistrate Ruben Mutuku they were not happy with how the proceedings were being conducted and the mode of voting.
This was after an initial nomination somehow ended in a tie, as Josef and Beata Nashongo of Swapo both declined to take up the position of deputy mayor after they were duly nominated. However, Mutuku insisted the swearing-in proceeding should continue unhindered for those duly nominated.
The three members returned shortly while the swearing-in was in progress and were then sworn-in as ordinary council members.
Therefore, Mutuku ordered a voting system to be used, which was done through a ballot paper.
Following the voting outcome, Nashongo and Paulus Shimbangala went through with four votes, while Katrina Kashokulu got seven, thereby being nominated as chairperson of management committee.
Johannes Ndeutepo was then voted as town mayor. However, the deputy mayor position remains vacant. The councillors have been given a week to finalise the process.
Swapo received four seats, while IPC won the remaining three seats on the local council. Shiindi refused to entertain questions from the media after the event. “I am not ready and I will not engage the media on this matter now; thank you,” she said briefly.
Meanwhile, Ndeutepo, in his acceptance speech, pledged to bring development to the town through inclusive leadership with community members. “We have to develop this town and bring decent development to the people.
We were entrusted into power by the masses and its time we serve them as promised through our campaigns. Therefore, let’s work together,” said Ndeutepo.
Meanwhile, David Shikalepo Kambonde was elected Oniipa mayor, deputised by Tutaleni Idhogela. Jafet Augustus was chosen management committee chairperson, whereas Selma Namuhuya was unveiled as deputy.
IPC’s Nghifikepunye David was chosen as the third member of the management committee, while her two fellow IPC councillors Patemoshela Nakanyala and Petrus Tuhumbata will serve as ordinary council members. - firstname.lastname@example.org