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Swakop IPC members summon Itula

2021-10-27  Eveline de Klerk

Swakop IPC members summon Itula
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SWAKOPMUND – The top leadership of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) say they have not received any invitation from their members at the coast to address them regarding the ongoing dispute between the leadership and Ciske Howard-Smith, who was suspended by the party last week.

This follows after some members of the party’s Swakopmund branches passed a motion to invite IPC leader Dr Panduleni Itula to address and resolve the issue before 2 November.

However, IPC secretary general Christine Aochamus this week told New Era they are yet to receive any notice from their coastal party members.

“We have not received anything, and I am also not aware of that,” Aochamus told New Era on Monday afternoon.

Several members of the Swakopmund IPC convened on Sunday to address the disunity between the councillor for the Swakopmund constituency, Howard-Smith, and the party’s leader that resulted in the councillor being restrained from party activities.

Members who attended the meeting expressed their concern over the developments, saying both parties should address the disunity for the advancement of the political movement. 

During the meeting, Howard-Smith said she is not planning to leave IPC but wants to take the party further for the development and benefit of all Namibians.

“I am loyal to IPC. It is my loyalty that made me stand here today and made me fight for our principles. We have a purpose, and that must be achieved,” Howard-Smith said during the meeting.

She added her suspension comes at a time when regional councillors want to table an important motion during the next council meeting, slated for 4 November.

Meanwhile, Itula, during a question-and-answer session in Windhoek over the weekend, also commented on the issue, saying the constituency executives in Erongo submitted their minutes to the national secretary general for further guidance.

“This has nothing to do with us. We don’t live in Erongo. We are not even on their platforms. That is knowledge we obtain from them,” Itula said, referring to one of the reasons why Howard-Smith was restrained by the party.

He added Howard-Smith is concerned about their Henties Bay councillor, who in 2018 allegedly conducted himself wrongfully while employed at the local municipality, where money was stolen.

“Now, in terms of Section 28 of the Local Authority Act, all council meetings are open to the public, except on any matters related to appointments and disciplinary hearing of employees.  However, Howard-Smith obtained confidential communication about our councillor’s disciplinary hearing. How can we use the same information obtained illegally,” Itula asked?

According to him, that Act cannot be justified when even the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has difficulties using information that was released by Al Jazeera in connection with the Fishrot case. 

“We have seen and know about it, but that information is inadmissible in the court of law. To access information of an employee and release it to a third party while it is confidential information is against the law. This party was started with the rule of law and will stick to it,” Itula said.

Meanwhile, first regional vice chairperson for Erongo Joachim von Wieterseim said, “I am on my way to Windhoek now, and will meet with her and discuss it first with her, as the motion also came as a surprise from the floor. I first want to see what channels we must follow,” he said Monday.

2021-10-27  Eveline de Klerk

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