Job this, Job that: Mayor pleads ignorance about demolitions

23 July 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda yesterday said there is a notion that he is in charge of every aspect of the City operations, but this has been proven incorrect by the fact that he did not know about the demolition of shacks by his officials on Wednesday.

The demolition of illegal structures took place in Ombili informal settlement in the Tobias Hainyeko constituency.

Amupanda called a hasty press conference to respond to the incident, and attributed it to clandestine efforts by his detractors to undermine his leadership.

Prior to joining council, Amupanda has been at the forefront of defending landless residents who erected illegal structures in Windhoek – a reality that now confronts him as mayor.

Hinting at Swapo members of the council, Amupanda blamed “dark forces” for being allegedly hell-bent on ensuring the ruling coalition fails.

“These events occurred without my knowledge as mayor. The deputy mayor and chairperson of management committee were also unaware,” he told journalists.

“As such, what occurred yesterday was not sanctioned by the political leadership of the municipal council of Windhoek,” he added, while apologising to those affected by the demolitions.

I take responsibility

“To an extent that individual councillors may have been aware, such awareness and events were not sanctioned by council. Although I was not aware, I take responsibility on behalf of the pain and suffering caused to the residents in the name of council and on behalf of council, I apologise to the residents for the recklessness and irresponsible events that took place yesterday,” Amupanda said.

He blamed the demolitions on dynamics at play within the City council and accused certain politicians of orchestrating the destruction.

“That the unfortunate events - created by others - were celebrated today is indicative of the dynamics at play at the municipal council of Windhoek. It is evident that there are specific politicians whose plan and preoccupation is to isolate and individualise. That is why you see people go and write ‘Amupanda, Amupanda’ as if Amupanda is the one who runs council alone,” he said.

Amupanda on their minds

The mayor also tore into the idea of landlessness being made about him.

“With a small cabal, they seek to make the issue of landlessness about Amupanda as if Amupanda has unilateral powers to make decisions. It is thus no surprise that one repeatedly reads that the honeymoon is over for Amupanda, pressure mounts for Amupanda,” he said.

“It is clear that the objective is not to address the issues affecting our residents but to isolate Amupanda and project that celebrity politicians are somehow not part of what is transpiring.

“Indeed, the focus is to frustrate and defocus this imaginary Amupanda that is in their minds,” he added.