WINDHOEK - Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, says the ministry is working around the clock on the Rehoboth issue of suspended councillors and will eventually pass a decision at the appropriate time.
His comments follow questions posed by United People’s Movement (UPM), member of parliament, Jan Van Wyk who wanted to know the status of the filling of the vacancy of their member in the Rehoboth local authority.
Mushelenga said it is unfortunate the administration of the oath of office for and swearing-in of the candidate nominated by UPM cannot be undertaken at this stage, as the entire Rehoboth Town Council is on suspension.
Last year, Mushelenga suspended the entire town council over their failure to implement directives from the ministry.
The suspension came as a result of ongoing mismanagement, poor service delivery and lack of accountability in the town council as well as the inability of the council to implement directives from the ministry.
The UPM MP also wanted to find out when and what action will be taken against those councillors involved in fraudulent activities at the Rehoboth Town Council, as the suspension of the council has delayed the filling of a vacancy on the council.
In response, Mushelenga said the ministry’s mandate, in as far as local authorities matters are concerned, is limited to dealing with policy, regulatory, service delivery and governance issues, including taking appropriate disciplinary action against individual members of local authority councils or against the entire council if there are convincing grounds to do so.
In the case of Rehoboth, he stated the ministry has suspended the entire council and they are working on corrective measures to rectify the situation.
“Council members, who are found to have engaged themselves in fraudulent activities will be dealt with following the due process of our justice system, and this responsibility is in the hands of the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
Van Wyk also questioned if, in the event of ‘no action’ against the culprits, it would not be prudent to dissolve the council and to have a by-election instead.
Mushelenga answered that the ministry is hard at work on the Rehoboth issue and the ministry will make a decision at the appropriate time in this regard.
“Again, let me emphasise that our ministry is working very hard on the situation at Rehoboth, together with all relevant stakeholders, including the residents of the town, with the view to finding a lasting solution. A decision in this regard will be made at the appropriate time,” said the urban and rural development minister.
2019-07-22 10:53:57 28 days ago