Former Windhoek municipal councillor Desiree Davids is suing the Independent Patriots for Change for N$2.1 million over a purported unlawful ejection from council and defamation of her character.
Her demands are contained in a letter addressed to IPC’s leader Panduleni Itula, dated 18 October 2022, seen by New Era.
Davids only lasted seven months at the city council before the IPC’s axe landed on her, following allegations that she used her office for self-gratification. Things, however, changed last month after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) cleared her of any wrongdoing. Davids stood accused of corruptly misusing her position on the council to fast-track her application for an erf in Windhoek’s Rocky Crest residential area.
She was also accused of using officials in the mayor’s office and its letterhead to disguise that the application had the mayor’s blessing.
While the IPC was investigating Davids, she resigned as a member of Namibia’s newest political party, but clinging onto the council seat. On these charges, she was later withdrawn completely from council.
However, the ACC vindicated Davids, saying her land application was above board, and the use of the mayoral letterhead was a standard procedure by councillors.
Now, it appears, the ACC’s findings have reignited Davids’ zeal, who is baying for IPC’s millions. Through her lawyer Francois Bangamwabo from FB Law Chambers, she is adamant that the IPC should pay for the remaining period she should have served on the Windhoek municipal council as she was withdrawn from the council on invalid grounds. “In the premises, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, monetary compensation equivalent to all salaries and allowances our client would have earned for the remainder of her term as a councillor at the council of the City of Windhoek, but for the IPC’s unjustified and wrongful decision to recall her as a councillor,” the lawyer wrote.
“The claimed amount in this respect is N$ 1.9 million, being salaries and allowances for the remaining period/term of 50 months.”
A seat in the Windhoek municipal council comes with an array of lucrative perks and benefits. At the moment, the Windhoek
mayor receives a monthly salary of N$43 000, while the deputy takes home N$39 000.
The MC chairperson is entitled to a monthly salary of N$36 000, while the remaining four management committee members receive N$32 000.
The eight ordinary councillors are paid
N$30 000 each. On the transport front, the deputy mayor gets N$8 700 per month, while the MC chairperson gets N$8 000. Management committee members receive N$7 000 as transport allowance, while ordinary councillors get N$6 000.
On top of this, the monthly allowance for council meetings is N$2 300, MC and extraordinary meetings N$1 500, while workshops, presentations and site visits earn councillors N$1 000.
Bangamwabo further said the IPC’s statement on 27 September 2021 which appeared in a local newspaper that his “client resigned due to guilty findings, and that our is client not fit and proper for IPC representation,” were defamatory.
“We hold further instruction to demand compensation in the amount of
N$1OO OOO for delictual damages arising from the wrongful defamatory statements/comments by the IPC,” he continued.
The IPC, however, is unfazed by the lawsuit.
It its eyes, the matter is water under the
bridge, as Davids did not even wait for the IPC’s internal investigation to conclude
before she quit the party.
This is to say when the IPC withdrew her from council, she was no longer their member, the party’s spokesperson Imms Nashinge said yesterday. “That chapter is long closed [sic]. We are not an employment agency, nor did
we have an employment contractual agreement with anybody,” he stressed.
Davids’ legal missive seems to corroborate
the IPC’s version. “We are further instructed that on 9 September 2021, our client tendered
a letter of resignation as a member of the IPC by sending an e-mail to the IPC’s leadership.
“It is our further instruction that on 10 September 2021, and to our client’s shock and dismay, the IPC withdrew our client from representing the party as a local authority councillor at the council of the City of Windhoek with immediate effect,” Bangamwabo added.
It is the lawyer’s view that the decision was not preceded by proper investigations by the IPC. -firstname.lastname@example.org