Karma is a b*t#h

Kazapua urges activists to walk the walk and deliver land

26 July 2021 | Government

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Former Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua said activists who accused his leadership of not doing much to deliver enough land “must walk the talk” now that they are in power.

Between 2014 and 2019 the Kazapua-led council had to channel a great deal of their energy towards the public outcry for land, this period also signified the height of sporadic land grabbing acts which pitted the council against the land-starved public.

With incumbent mayor Job Amupanda from the Affirmative Repositioning movement, which started the land grabbing regime in November 2014, last week conceding that “things are tough” running the country’s biggest municipality, Kazapua said “they now feel how hot it is”.

In an interview with Namibian Sun yesterday, Kazapua said the current leadership promised to deliver land to the residents but nothing has come of those promises so far.

“Once you are outside it is easy to criticise those inside because you do not realise how hot it is to run the city affairs. They claimed at the time that they will do better and they have innovative ideas to provide land. During our time the bureaucracy made things very difficult,” he said.

The former mayor said the current leadership cannot blame politics for their failure to deliver land.

“During our time there was also politics and some of the current councillors were at the forefront and instigating land grabs,” he said.

Kazapua also accused the current cohort of councillors of claiming the glory for projects that were started by their predecessors.

“Some of the projects they are celebrating was started by us, but they will never say it,” he charged.

He urged the current municipal leadership to consult widely to devise a solution to the land crisis.

“We manage to contain the land grabbing acts because we consulted widely and we had good relations with our stakeholders such as regional councillors and the police, I suggest they consider that approach too,” he said.

Startling limitations

Before assuming power, AR always asserted that its arrival on the city council was the silver bullet to the land crisis facing Windhoek residents, but after just eight months in the hot seat, it’s a matter of “easier said than done”.

Unlike the hands-on power that he enjoyed as an activist, Amupanda was forced to make peace with the fact that as mayor there is little room to manoeuvre freely.

Amupanda last week admitted that all is not well at the Municipal Council of Windhoek.

“One of the key issues is resistance to change and administrative instabilities. The greater portion of our employees are still loyal to the old regime and continue to retreat to dark corners to organise with those who lost power,” he said during a press briefing in the aftermath of land grabbing acts in the Tobias Hainyeko constituency.

This publication spoke to two leading local political analysts who both felt that lethargic municipal procedures and ideological differences amongst the parties are the two biggest limitations.

“The coalition has only been in existence for eight months. A period of eight months is not sufficient to make a judgement on its performance. Those eight months is preparation to put up a framework. I don’t think it is a good yardstick to make a judgement on the performance of the coalition,” said political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah.

He added that there are structural shortcomings that must be addressed.

“All is not going well; the aspect of the City’s structure is constraining the council. What is constraining them is not the divisions but the skewed structure of Windhoek. It is a handicap that they need to operate within,” Kamwanyah said.

Another analyst, Phanuel Kaapama, felt the coalition was ideologically divergent, making it difficult for its various policies to be implemented.

“In order to be able to govern, the ideologies and ideas …they have to reach a compromise on decisions. Some of the decisions may not sit well with their constituents that gave them a mandate,” Kaapama said.

Nampol steers clear

The Namibian Police (Nampol) was last week dragged into the fight between City Police chief Abraham Kanime and the city councillors who want to replace him.

At the time, Amupanda encouraged members of the public and those within the police ranks to apply in a social media post.

Nampol chief Sebastian Ndeitunga had asked Nampol members to consider applying for the City Police top job in a circular, which he has since withdrawn, after Kanime’s lawyer Sisa Namandje wrote to the force, warning it to not be part of the process, “as Kanime was still lawfully employed”.

The security cluster consisting of the Namibian Police and Namibia Central Intelligence Service had been tasked with the process to assist the municipality find a new police chief for Windhoek.

Commenting on the matter, Ndeitunga said the Namibian Police did not want to get involved in a legal battle and chose to withdraw itself from the process temporarily.

“They are blazing their guns at the wrong person. We withdrew our circular. We do not want to fight a legal battle that is not ours. We are waiting for them to get back to us,” Ndeitunga told Namibian Sun.

The municipality’s acting CEO, George Mayumbelo, upon enquiry said the process had not been halted despite the withdrawal of the Namibian Police.