Newly elected Walvis Bay Urban councillor Deriou Benson has promised local residents a better life after snatching the bitterly contested constituency from Knowledge Ipinge who served for a mere 11 months as councillor following a by-election victory in January this year.
The Independent Patriots for Change leader said he was looking forward to working with all residents and political parties for the greater interest of the local inhabitants.
“I am a people’s person, but overall IPC wants a better Walvis Bay. Hence, it will not be difficult for us to work with other parties if we all focus toward the development of Walvis Bay,” he said yesterday.
Ipinge who lost against Benson conceded defeat and congratulated Benson, while thanking those who voted for him on Wednesday.
“The residents you have spoken. However, I will continue to fight for you through activism. The past few months was a great experience for me to serve our community wholeheartedly and it won’t end here,” Ipinge said. The ruling Swapo’s hopes to reclaim Walvis Bay Urban was dashed after Benson emerged victorious with a massive 4 531 votes of the 8 925 votes cast.
His closest rival and Swapo candidate Miina Hangula received 2 702 votes, while Ipinge ended third with 947 votes.
IPC also claimed Walvis Bay Rural where its candidate Tegako Donatus was declared as duly elected, while Ciske Smith-Howard was confirmed as winner of the Swakopmund constituency.
Smith-Howard, who admitted she voted for the first time in Wednesday’s regional council and local authority elections, received 5 688 votes from the 12 027 votes cast, while the Swapo candidate and unionist Phillip Munenguni received 3 260 votes.
Swapo was, however, able to retain the Omaruru, Karibib and Arandis constituencies, while the United Democratic Front (UDF) kept the Daures constituency.
Swapo Erongo coordinator Daniel Utapi Muhuura yesterday said the party would reflect on the poll outcome and return to the drawing board.
The party apart from losing two more constituencies in Erongo also had to relinquish seats both in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund to IPC.
Both Swapo and IPC got three local authority seats in Swakopmund.
Swapo previously held six local authority seats. This time, Swakopmund Residents Association received two seats while the Landless People’s Movement(LPM) and UDF gained a seat each. In Walvis Bay, Swapo had seven seats but lost four seats to IPC to remain with three. LPM, PDM and the Joint Walvis Bay Residents Association got one seat each. In Arandis, however, Swapo took three seats, IPC two and LPM one.
In Henties Bay, Swapo and the Republican Party received two seats respectively, while IPC, PDM and UDF each received one seat.
Muhuura said this does not deter the party, especially in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as they will still fulfil their mandate.
“We have been working closely with all political parties in various regions. It is about development and the wellbeing of the communities we serve. As a party, we will definitely go back to the drawing board and see how and where we went wrong,” he said.