OMUTHIYA - The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has come out guns blazing over the alleged illegal election of the management committee chairperson of the Otjiwarongo Municipality, whom the party claims ascended to power without a second nomination.
Godhard Hoko is serving as a local authority councillor on Swapo’s ticket. The LPM, through its deputy leader Henny Seibeb, wrote a damning letter dated 1 September to Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni and executive director Nghidinua Daniel, asking them to nullify the alleged illegal occupation of that position by Hoko.
He also asked for the nullification of all the council meetings that were chaired by the incumbent.
Hoko was allegedly nominated by one individual, without a secondment.
“Any nomination that does not obtain a secondment automatically falls away by law and fact. A new nomination was supposed to have been effected. That never happened. Therefore, this means that Godhard Hoko is illegally serving as the chairperson of Otiiwarongo Municipality, and that all the meetings he has presided over have been illegal, invalid and have in fact no basis in law. All management committee meetings’ decisions must be declared null and void,” he stressed.
Seibeb added that such an illegality has serious implications for service delivery in Otjiwarongo and the surrounding areas.
“It makes one wonder how often the Swapo officials and politicians have in the past been transgressing provisions of various laws, without any consequence of wrongs committed. No wonder that the Otjiwarongo local authority has fallen from an earlier position of being one of the well-run municipalities in Namibia,” he said.
Seibeb further accused Uutoni and chief magistrate Philanda Christiaan of a witch-hunt, claiming he (Uutoni) is unwilling to work with local authorities won by LPM and others, and is always attempting, albeit failing, in his nefarious sabotage and belligerent actions of subterfuge.
Therefore, he reasoned, the minister should as well correct the mistake as it was done in Luderitz, where a similar illegality was observed and rectified.
Contacted for a response, Uutoni declined to comment on the matter, saying he was not seized with the facts about LPM’s concerns. He referred queries to the municipality.
“I don’t preside over the nominations or local authority councillors. So, if it happened, I don’t know. In fact, it’s over eight months since those councillors assumed duty. Why is this only coming out now?” the minister questioned.
Meanwhile, Otjiwarongo mayor Kandiwapa Shivute on Wednesday acknowledged that he was notified about the concerns raised by the LPM, but said he’s not well-acquainted with all the details.
“Yes, I got to see the notice by the LPM. However, I don’t have all the details. Also, that is an administrative matter to be handled by the chief executive officer (CEO). Based on that, I cannot delve much into the issues,” he stated.
CEO Moses Matyayi said “the election of the chairperson of the management committee was conducted in line with the provisions of Section 25 of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act 23 of 1992), as amended. There is nothing irregular about the election. We trust that the process was conducted properly and fairly, procedurally, without prejudice.”
The ministry of justice did not pronounce itself on the allegations levelled against Christiaan.