RUNDU – Swapo district executives last Friday attempted to halt the swearing-in ceremony of the Rundu Town Council at the Rundu Magistrate’s Court, saying the councillors on the Swapo party ticket did not get their blessings for the council to continue with the ceremony.
Before the ceremony could start at the Magistrate Court, presiding magistrate Hellen Olaiya gave a chance to the Rundu Urban district executive committee members to raise their concerns before the proceedings. The committee members indicated that their councillors were taking oath without their blessings and, thus, objected the swearing-in ceremony.
“We have indicated to our seniors in Windhoek that the councillors that are on the ticket of Swapo party are not supposed to go ahead until party matters are resolved,” explained Swapo Rundu district mobiliser Gabriel Kanyanga.
“We indicated that the executive committee that put them into power is the one that has some consensus that we communicated with the elders at party level at the headquarters and it is still being taken care of. If they happen to go ahead with the process, it is out of our hands, but they are supposed to listen to us, as we sent them to council,” Kanyanga added.
When asked why they have not communicated their concerns to the acting CEO before the ceremony, the district executives responded that the matter was already in the CEO’s office when the acting CEO assumed office in March.
“We have communicated with the acting CEO and I have a copy of the letter saying the swearing-in ceremony should not take place because the matter is still with the politburo and the politburo should direct the minister, and this matter is out of our hands; it is with the secretary general,” said Swapo Rundu Urban district coordinator Gabriel Hakusembe. However, Olaiya did not give Rundu’s acting CEO Sam Nekaro a chance to respond. She went on to perform her legal duties, saying she was invited to swear-in the councillors and not to resolve political issues, and that the invitation should also not draw her to break the law. “I’m here to follow the law; to apply the law as it is, and if you feel that you are not ready, bring it to my attention. The act makes provision for a postponement but it must be communicated to me by the acting CEO – not any other person,” Olaiya stated.
“If there is anyone who has a problem with the swearing-in, sort it out. As for me, I will proceed – and if I get interruptions, I will have no choice but to allow the police officers to remove whoever wants to interrupt the ceremony that brought me here,” Olaiya continued.
However, the swearing-in could not materialise. The councillors only elected Isak Kandingu for the position of mayor, and the court pronounced him duly elected. When the magistrate requested for a nomination for deputy mayor, all councillors did not have a nomination, leading Olaiya to postpone the activity to Monday, saying she will consult the law on the best way forward.
The councillors present were All People’s Party (APP) local authority councillor Mathews Wakudumo, followed by the three Swapo local authority councillors who were recalled by the Rundu Urban Swapo district executive committee: Isak Kandingu, Toini Hausiku and Annastasia Shinduvi-Antonio.
Ralph Ihemba (Swapo) and Reginald Ndara of Rundu Concerned Citizens Association were not present at the swearing-in ceremony.
2020-03-09 07:13:30 | 3 months ago