OMUTHIYA – Local councillors at Omuthiya who are at the epicentre of allegations of corruption and occupying multiple plots have come out guns blazing, denying and justifying their dealings in a response letter they addressed to New Era.
Four councillors are denying allegations of corruptly leasing and occupying several plots at the expense of the community and they also deny allegations of nepotism and specifically giving jobs to relatives as alleged by the outgoing CEO.
The outgoing CEO, Samuel Mbango, in a letter addressed to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, singled out the mayor Katrina Uusiku, her deputy Heskiel Nanyeni, management committee chairperson Beata Nashongo and management committee member Enos Shipahu for allegedly using their positions for self-gratification.
Mbango further accused the councillors of having a personal vendetta against him for allegedly speaking out and rejecting some unethical dealings.
Mbango’s unprecedented revelations come after he was served with a letter notifying him that the council will not renew his contract when it expires on August 31 and that the coveted position of CEO at Omuthiya will be advertised.
Mayor Uusiku is fingered for allegedly having pushed for the employment of her husband and refusing to vacate three plots – erven 1244, 1245 and 1246 at Extension 5 – which she had been compensated for already.
“I would like to categorically make it clear that the plots indicated in the newspaper are plots that were created during the planning of Extension 5 for residential purposes, where my traditional homestead was before the proclamation of the town. I have been waiting for Extension 5 to be completed so that I can be relocated,” responded Uusiku.
But she does not address the industrial plots she was recently allocated as well as the issue of a shack she erected and rents out at Kaniita reception area.
A move that has been seen as a foot-in-the-door syndrome to benefit from when residents are relocated to a formal area.
Regarding the recruitment and training of her husband, she said that was a human resource issue and she has nothing to do with it. On the alleged N$100 000 spent on training from a South African institution, Uusiku responded: “I have no idea, the induction and cost of town council staff members training is the custodian of the human resource department of that particular institution.” Uusiku’s husband is employed as a driver.
“It is not my responsibility and by then I was not even the mayor of Omuthiya town. Besides there is no provision or law that prohibits relatives to be employed in the same organisation as long as they have been recruited on merit,” she elaborated.
Management committee chairperson Nashongo refuted claims of a witch-hunt against Mbango.
Defending her stance to push for the recruitment of a finance and human resource manager who came second in an interview with a score of 66.6 percent at the expense of an internal candidate who came out tops with 77.8 percent, Nashongo said that such was based on the Affirmative Action Act, Act 29 of 1998, that racially disadvantaged persons, people with disability and women are to enjoy equal employment opportunities at all levels of employment.
She also quoted the Labour Act, Act No. 11 of 2007, section 5 (1) (e-f) as having influenced her decision.
Management committee member Shipahu vehemently denied that he allocated plots to himself, and that neither was he having a hand in the sale of the Swapo plot Erf 2, and challenged the CEO to bring proof.
Meanwhile, the community on Saturday staged a peaceful demonstration to the Swapo regional leadership where they handed over a petition demanding the immediate suspension of the four councillors and disciplinary action.
“We appreciate Mbango’s efforts to expose corrupt activities, but he is corrupt as well. Why is he only saying these things now? We will therefore still come after him,” said community activist Moses Amukoto when he handed over the petition.
Oshikoto Swapo regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu received the petition and said Swapo Party will respond after carefully acquainting itself with the content of the letter.
The party was given five days to respond.