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Home / Parties attempt unity before vote…as the ministry angles for swift city CEO appointment

Parties attempt unity before vote…as the ministry angles for swift city CEO appointment

2023-01-17  Edward Mumbuu

Parties attempt unity before vote…as the ministry angles for swift city CEO appointment

Political parties with representatives on the City of Windhoek council are scrambling to outmaneuvre Swapo at their next meeting to elect office bearers while the line ministry is following the chaos closely. 

Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Natalia
/Goagoses warned that arguments and fights in the City of Windhoek will not be tolerated this year, as their actions are hindering development and jeopardy to service delivery. She also demands that the CEO be appointed shortly after the election. The deputy minister said this in a telephonic interview with New Era yesterday. She said within the next three days, the City of Windhoek is expected to elect office bearers, including the mayor, the deputy mayor and members of the management committee.  In December, Swapo chief whip on the city council, Queen Kamati directed the party’s councillors to abstain from taking part in the annual election and was then followed by the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillors.

This ended a year of turmoil in which the management council (MC) was replaced after not moving ahead with the appointment of Conrad Lutombi as the then IPC-dominated MC raised questions around the recruitment process.

The new Affirmative Repositioning-headed (AR) MC then acted to instal Lutombi, only for the Roads Authority chief to politely decline the offer, leaving city power brokers with egg on their face.

Goagoses told New Era yesterday that the councillors and the presiding officer are both informed about the meeting and it will take place.

“Soon after the election, they must appoint the CEO as the recruitment process has already taken place. We cannot have a council that is passing resolutions but does not have an accountable officer that can execute them,”  she said.

“The fights, gossips and scrambles that have been hindering development in the city cannot be tolerated. We want service delivery to our people not fights among the leaders. Those fights have created a lot of backlog in the city. It cannot be allowed,” the deputy minister voiced.

City spokesperson Harold Akwenye confirmed that there will be a special council meeting Thursday to elect MC members and the mayor.


Reacting to the latest developments, lawyer and political analyst, Natjirikasorua Tjirera described the election a move in the right direction. 

“It is about time that the biggest municipality in the land got leaders to govern the city. I sincerely hope that all the councillors across the political divide will rise above petty personal issues and egos. It is time that the municipal elected councillors remind themselves that they availed themselves to serve the public and I sincerely hope that the interests of Windhoek residents will be foremost in their minds when they elect the office bearers,” Tjirera stated briefly. 

It is also his fervent hope that the politicians can agree to a common formula to address burning issues confronting the city’s inhabitants. 

“The opposition should be really eager to make this work and to show the electorate that they can govern when given the chance to govern, otherwise they’ll fall into Swapo’s trap. 

“I’m sure Swapo is ready to tell the Namibian voters not to vote for the opposition because they (the opposition) failed to govern a municipality. The rhetoric will be how will they govern nationally if they cannot govern a single municipality,” the lawyer posited.

Running Windhoek, he continued, is the ultimate litmus test for opposition parties, if taking over central government is one of their objectives. 

“So, this is not only a test for councillors but it also included a greater test of the opposition’s ability to swallow their pride, bury their egos and work for the greater good of the people. Thursday will be an interesting day,” he said.

Tjirera continued: “The councillors should also be extra careful because a failure by the council to elect may force the minister of Urban and Rural Development to invoke Section 92 of the Local Authorities Act and that will mean suspension of the councillors and vesting the powers of the council in the minister.”

On his part, pundit Ndumba Kamwanyah echoed similar sentiments, adding that the chaos in the city cannot continue. 

“It’s anarchy and unacceptable. It runs against everything the opposition forces promised to change and bring about. It’s a test for opposition forces if they can really run the affairs of a town or country. The winner here is Swapo and it is having the last laugh. The mother city and the seat of government must be an example and cannot be run on autopilot at most of its key structures,” he added.

Political scientist Rui Tyitende, on the other hand had, more questions than answers, labelling the affairs at the city an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. 

Beyond toppling their common foe - Swapo - he said, nothing unites the opposition. 

“The opposition at the City of Windhoek is dysfunctional because the primary objective was to dislodge Swapo from power, and not coalesce around policy ideas that will transform an institution that has become synonymous with malfeasance, greed and incompetence. The electorate expects them to depersonalise and depoliticise the distribution of goods and services that the citizens of Windhoek so deeply deserve,” the analyst ventilated. 

The future of the country’s governance and key institutions, is bleak, at least from Tyitende’s view. 

“The country remains in a perpetual state of oppositional politics, and the political shenanigans playing out at the number one municipality in the country provide little hope for a political future led by the opposition at the national level. In terms of political pragmatism, the people will ask the following pertinent questions: 

“How many plots have they serviced and provided to the most vulnerable in the city?

How many jobs have been created as a consequence of policy interventions undertaken by the city? What is the state of access to potable water supply and access to sanitation facilities?”

He was not done. 

“If they are failing to govern 400 000 people, how will they manage to govern a populace of 2.6 million?” Tyitende wanted to know.


National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) secretary general and parliamentarian Joseph Kauandenge called an urgent meeting for opposition parties represented on the Windhoek municipal council last night to chart the way forward ahead of Thursday’s election of office bearers. 

He requested four members from each political parrty to attend the meeting.  

“Subsequent to our telephonic conversation this past two days, I now can confirm that the said agreed meeting will take place. It is within the discretion of the parties whom they will send to the meeting, but preferably four leaders per party.

Let’s get the City of Windhoek back on track,” Kauandenge said in the invite,  seen by this paper.

2023-01-17  Edward Mumbuu

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