ONGWEDIVA – The Oshakati Town Council is without councillors after Swapo Party recalled its newly instated councillors for allegedly defying an order to install the town’s former mayor Onesmus Shilunga as chairperson of the management committee.
In place of Shilunga, the ruling party councillors allegedly voted in favour of Katrina Shimbulu as chairperson of the management committee, contradicting the party directive.
Shimbulu, who also served as mayor, has been an ordinary member for the last two years.
The party had not given directives regarding other positions, such as mayor and deputy mayor.
Swapo councillors at the town are Angelus Iyambo (mayor), Ndamononghenda Hamunyela (deputy mayor), Loise Shivolo, Gabriel Kamwanka, Shilunga and Shimbulu.
A letter addressed to Swapo’s Oshana regional coordinator Samuel Nelongo from party secretary general Sophia Shaningwa states that the councillors were dismissed because of their non-compliance with her directive.
“You are hereby directed to inform all local authority councillors at Oshakati Town Council on the Swapo ticket that they are withdrawn from being local authority councillors with immediate effect until further notice,” the letter read.
Shaningwa further said that the party will advise Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga on the next course of action. Shaningwa yesterday confirmed she authored the letter directing the withdrawal of all party councillors.
Nelongo in an interview with New Era said that when the go-ahead was given for the nomination of councillors to be made the councillors at Oshakati had requested an audience with the party, which was granted.
“The councillors were to be granted an opportunity as they have requested, but they were informed that the directive should be upheld. However, they did contrary to what the directive had asked them to do,” Nelongo stated further.
The councillors have since been served with withdrawal letters.