OMUTHIYA – Swapo Party regional leadership for Oshikoto will on Saturday convene a regional executive committee meeting to discuss corruption allegations levelled against its local authority councillors serving on the Omuthiya Town Council.
A fortnight ago agitated community members of Omuthiya handed a petition to Swapo regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu, urging Swapo to suspend and take disciplinary action against councillors accused of corruptly using their position for self-gratification and nepotism.
The accused councillors are the mayor Katrina Uusiku, her deputy Heskiel Nanyeni, chairperson of the management committee Beata Nashongo and management committee member Enos Shipahu. The allegations against them are contained in a letter by council CEO Samuel Mbango, addressed to the minister of urban and rural development.
They stand accused of having a personal vendetta against the CEO but he has accused them of having dished out plots among themselves and giving jobs to relatives.
They have all vehemently refuted the allegations, although Nashongo conceded not returning council property she had taken for personal use. She was however made to pay.
CEO Mbango made these revelations after he was notified that his employment contract will not be renewed when it lapses on August 31, but some of his critics are questioning why the outgoing CEO has only made the accusations against the councillors now.
“If things go accordingly this issue will be dealt with at the regional executive committee meeting slated for Saturday. Thereafter, our decision will be informed by advice from the leadership on the way forward with the matter,” briefly stated Amukwiyu upon inquiry.
Community activist Moses Amukoto said they would patiently wait for the outcome, but warned that if the outcome is unsatisfactory, they will take further action. He refused to reveal what action they will take – “you will be informed when the time comes,” he said,
Allegations of corruption have marred Omuthiya for over a year, to the extent that the minister Mushelenga had to be called to address the matter, which led to him instructing a team to investigate the issues. The established committee is still in Omuthiya working on the matter.
Chairperson of the management committee Nashongo, in her efforts to clear her name on the accusations of nepotism, in a recent statement detailed how the employment of a manager for finance and human resources came about, whom she’s accused of having favoured over an internal candidate who excelled during the interviews for the job.
“I do not know the lady personally and where she is from at all. Besides, I do not approve the recruitment on the basis of regionalism, family relations or anything but based on Acts and policies,” she said.
Nashongo further said: “The lady was appointed upon consideration of gender balance in top management of the council. Article 23 of the Constitution of Namibia empowers parliament to enact legislation aimed at redressing gender imbalance in the public service structures. Therefore, since the council had two men in management such as the CEO and manager for technical services, it was seen fit to add a woman to this level.”
She denied owning an industrial plot erf 905, which she is accused of co-owning with her husband.