The Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) has defended its decision to name a member who was not initially part of the City of Windhoek’s 15-member candidate list submitted to the Electoral Commission of Namibia ahead of last year’s local authority election.
The IPC yesterday unveiled accountant and businessman Jürgen Hecht as a replacement for former councillor Fillemon Hambuda who resigned in August.
Hambuda also served as chairperson of the management committee and has been replaced in that role by IPC’s Ndeshihafela Larandja.
IPC has four seats on the city council.
Rezaldo Somses, who the party listed fifth on its list, was seemingly overlooked this time around in favour of Hecht who features nowhere on the initial 15-member list.
IPC secretary general Christine !Aochamus said the decision to appoint Hecht to the city council was above board.
In terms of the Local Authorities Act (23 Act of 1992), the vacation of office by members of local authority councils, and filling of casual vacancies, there are provisions for the party to fill a vacancy that existed in the municipal council of Windhoek’s structure in the city council.
“The Act made provision that a party fill the vacancy from the party list which was gazetted or any other members,” she said.
“We have a challenge within the city. We have realised that any member that we fill in the city should be able to bring experience that will lighten the burden on the city to be able to solve the problems within. We then looked at our members to see who is suitable, therefore, we have identified him,” she said.
She added the new councillor has good experience in financial management and is familiar with the budget issues.
The IPC has another vacancy waiting to be gazetted and communicated formally for them to appoint another councillor after Desiree Davids was withdrawn from the council following a protracted saga in which she was accused of having an application of land fast-tracked.
“Only once the vacancy is gazetted the party will be able to find a suitable councillor who can drive the agenda of the city. We will approach the Khomas regional leadership to appoint the suitable candidate,” said the secretary general.
Hecht said most of his priorities in the city will be financial management, service delivery as well as land delivery.
City mayor Job Amupanda said based on his expertise, he believed Hecht will make a significant contribution to the city.
“It is good that at least we have a councillor with financial expertise as normally we rely on technical experts. So I believe your expertise will make a significant impact within the council,” he said.