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Withdrawn city councillor digs in her heels

2021-08-10  Loide Jason

Withdrawn city councillor digs in her heels
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After Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) withdrew City of Windhoek councillors with immediate effect, one of the councillors has told the party she will not step down.

City’s management committee chairperson Fillemon Hambuda and under-fire councillor Desiree Davids were yesterday withdrawn by the party. 

It has also emerged that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is looking at the accusations against Davids.

The director general of the ACC, Paulus Noa, yesterday confirmed he has signed six letters to City of Windhoek councillors who sit on the management committee to explain the matter of councillor Davids. 

“I have signed summons to the councillors, including Amupanda and Hambuda to explain the matter of the alleged corruption of the land application of the councillor,” said Noa.

Davids was already suspended by her party at the end of June after it emerged her request to buy land was allegedly fast-tracked.

The party then stated, “IPC has appointed an investigation committee, headed by our chief whip coordinator, Christoph Uirab, to investigate as swiftly and practically as possible the alleged conduct.”

However, the freshman Davids said she does not take kindly to an ultimatum issued over the weekend and questioned on what basis the decision was taken if there was no proof that she was guilty.

Davids said she was asked on Saturday to say whether she should be recalled or would step down within 24 hours – to which she declined to respond.

“Please also bear in mind that your request for me to respond within 24 hours is not reasonable. I’m due to consult my lawyer on Monday as well as accompany him to the Anti-Corruption Commission offices afterwards. He has indicated that he will respond to your office pending the letter of the allegation separately (from the Rocky Crest erf application) levelled against me,” she stated.

She further demanded that IPC present her with another letter that stipulates the alleged offence(s) committed.

Her lawyer Ulrich Etzold yesterday wrote to IPC, saying: “IPC undertook to carry out [an] investigation; the outcome of such investigation will be communicated to our client by no later than 19th July 2021. Due to her suspension, our client has had substantial loss of income, awaiting the investigation report, which was postponed for a further 21 days and has not been released until date – to the detriment of our client.”

“I’m very well aware that the mayor has informed many councillors that chief patriot (Panduleni Itula) wants to recall me. It is within my constitutional right to demand proof of evidence that is being levelled against me,” she explained.

In the statement issued by the party’s general secretary yesterday, the IPC indicated that the councillors were recalled following the alleged inappropriate conduct contrary to the IPC constitution.

In a statement sent to members on Monday, the party stated, “In light of the City of Windhoek’s implicit refusal to cooperate, amongst other reasons, the IPC leadership has an obligation on the electorate to ensure that the City allows the party responsible for fielding councillors to act ethically and in compliance with the rule of law”.

Hambuda was the chairperson of the management committee and was one of the councillors who the party “restraint” for a week by IPC for apologising for shack demolitions by the City with mayor Job Amupanda.

Contacted for comment, the IPC spokesperson Imms Nashinge said people must stick to the content of the letter and the party is in the process of replacing the two councillors.

The phones of Hambuda and Amupanda went unanswered yesterday after numerous calls to offer them the right to reply.

“Our client expressly records that she elects to retain her position as councillor and will not step down as requested by IPC,” read the letter Etzold wrote to the IPC.

 

 

 


2021-08-10  Loide Jason

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