RUNDU – Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga yesterday suspended the town council of Rundu as well as the municipal council of Okahandja following reports of unending infighting at the two towns.
At Rundu, Mushelenga has put in place an interim leadership headed by Sebastian Kantema, who will be assisted by the council’s administration.
Kantema will assume duty immediately. “In keeping with the oversight role assigned to the minister in terms of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act No. 23 of 1992) as amended, the ministry of urban and rural development has for some years now, been closely monitoring the state of affairs in Rundu in terms of governance and service delivery,” said the notice, which was delivered by deputy minister Derek Klazen.
“From our assessment and the ongoing complaints from the residents, it is my conclusion that all has not been well.
The specific noted problems are the persistent lack of the requisite governance structures and consequent lack of proper strategic direction and leadership as well as lack of or service delivery to the residents,” Klazen added.
Mushelenga in a speech read by Klazen noted that his ministry has given the councils enough time to sort out their issues and has intervened on various occasions and many ways in the hope of bringing up the needed change and leadership on the part of the councils. In view of the suspension of the municipal council of Okahandja, Mushelenga announced his decision to put in place an interim council governance structure headed by Linus //Garoeb. //Garoeb is also now tasked to thoroughly investigate without fear, favour or prejudice, the allegations of misconduct that have been levelled against the CEO by the suspended council, and to institute the necessary disciplinary action if the outcome of the investigation provides evidence of wrong-doing on the part of the CEO. Mushelenga while delivering his speech during the suspension of Okahandja councillors emphasised that Namibia is governed on the basis of policies, laws and regulations, which must at all times be complied with, failing which there will be consequences and the culprits will be called upon to reckon. “As far as I, the minister and the ministry in general is concerned, it is immaterial as to which political party the local authority councillors belong to or what party has the majority of councillors in an area,” Mushelenga said.
“As it is self-evident, my action or intervention is not based on any political considerations or influence but is merely aimed at ensuring the requisite level of governance and compliance to the law as well as the protection of the public interest.” Mushelenga noted that it must be clear to all local authorities that the ministry will not hesitate to take swift action against any local authority whenever discipline, order, harmony and service delivery is at stake.