Outspoken Landless People’s Movement (LPM) parliamentarian Henny Seibeb has alleged the move by the country’s power utility to disconnect power supply in various village councils in the //Kharas and Hardap regions was politically motivated.
NamPower this week announced it was owed close to N$1 billion by its clients, while it gave those in arrears until end of this month to settle their accounts. Southern local authorities make up the bulk of the list of defaulters.
Town councils such as Rehoboth, Karasburg, Okahandja, Aranos, Gobabis and villages councils such as Maltahöhe, Gibeon, Bethanie, Koës, Tses, Leonardville, Kalkrand, Berseba, Stampriet, Aroab and Witvlei including the //Kharas Regional Council have been listed among the defaulters.
But, Seibeb while posing questions to urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni in parliament on Wednesday argued: “It is now certainly clear that what we heard during last year’s election campaigns that ‘Swapo controls the cake’ is at play,” said Seibeb.
Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor during a media briefing last year was quoted by local dailies that the ruling party is not moved by independent candidates and opposition parties’ promises of change at regional councils and local authorities, saying the ruling party still has control of the “national cake”.
“Why did the ministry stopped payment in what they term “maximum-demand” in the mentioned villages and town councils knowing pretty well that villages like Aroab were managing their electricity bill efficiently, and as a result of non-payment by the ministry owes NamPower in excess of N$400 000?” Seibeb asked Uutoni.
He also asked the minister why the ministry allows universal suspension of electricity provision by NamPower at the said villages and towns knowing full well that some consumers are using the pre-paid method, as compared to conventional metres in Aroab and Gibeon.
Seibeb claimed some village and town councils were bankrupted by the previous Swapo local authority councillors, who according to him, were at most times concerned about lining up their pockets only, with lots of maladministration and malpractices instead of focusing on good governance and efficient and effective service delivery.
“When will you inform the nation, or provide a complete financial update on the state of affairs of regional council and local authorities for the period of 2015-2020,” he questioned. Uutoni is expected to respond to the questions next week Thursday. NamPower spokesperson Tangeni Kambangula was unreachable for comment as her phone went unanswered.