RUNDU – Cleared to remain in his position by the Swapo politburo last week, new Rundu mayor Isaak Kandingu has called for a renewed sense of unity among councillors at the river town.
Council was for long divided, with some councillors defying Swapo directives to keep Verna Sinimbo on as mayor while another group wanted change which eventually led to Kandingu’s election recently as mayor.
Kandingu said proper service delivery at the town was almost impossible with a divided council. “Day and night I’m praying for unity amongst us, with unity we can pull in the same direction to serve our residents,” Kandingu said on Thursday. Kandingu told New Era that he still needs to sit down with the council in order to strategise on all plans and priorities at the town.
“Only then can we talk of what is on the table. I will also have the courage to express my thoughts as mayor. You know we just came from meetings in Windhoek and my head is still not focused yet,” he added.
“Unity is topping my agenda,” he said. “I have been praying that as a council we should work together, that is what I want, for us to be united as it is really important,” he continued.
Kandingu was elected as mayor in the recent office bearer elections held on 7 February at the council chambers in Rundu, contrary to a directive signed by Swapo Secretary-General Sophia Shaningwa that council retains the status quo, which would have kept Sinimbo as mayor.
During that event, Toini Hausiku was elected as deputy mayor and Anastacia Antonio retained her position as chairperson of the management committee, while Matthews Wakudumo of All People’s Party (APP) was elected as a new member of the management committee. The remaining positions in the management committee were left for another day as there was no nomination after former mayor Sinimbo and former dupty mayor Ralph Ihemba rejected nominations. Reginald Ndara of Rundu Concerned Citizens Association (RCCA) refused to participate in the proceedings.
Nearly two weeks ago, the three newly elected Swapo council office bearers were recalled for defying Shaningwa’s directive, but the trio moved to swiftly involve their lawyer Kadhila Amoomo to intervene, as they deemed their withdrawal as unlawful.
Their withdrawal was reversed last week after a marathon meeting by the top leadership of Swapo in Windhoek.