Ondangwa spurns 'patriotic' cleaning offer

Independent candidate won't give up

26 March 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATO

OSHAKATI



The Ondangwa town council has turned down an offer by former Ondangwa Urban constituency by-election independent candidate Angelina Immanuel to clean up the town's open market.

Immanuel said she visited the open market last week and found it filthy, with no visible coronavirus prevention measures. She then started collecting donations of cleaning materials.



Rebuffed

“On Tuesday I had a meeting with the Ondangwa CEO to inform them of our Omatala cleaning campaign but he declined my patriotic act toward my town,” Immanuel said.

“When I approached the town health inspector's office, they informed me that the hand-washing buckets had arrived the previous day but because President Hage Geingob had declared a state of emergency they might not distribute them because the open market might be closing. Immanuel said closing the market would have a big impact on the community because 60% of the residents depend on it. She said Ondangwa CEO Ismael Namgongo told her that the council had employed cleaners for the open market.



Will continue

Immanuel said it was not the first time that her efforts to clean up the town had been rejected.

“Remember when I wanted to clean the town council building and they rejected it? We went ahead and cleaned Ondangwa. This will definitely not end.

She said there was no turning back and she would continue to hand out cleaning materials to vendors at the market.

“I informed the CEO that the cleaning will then be done by the people in the open market while I will provide them with sanitisers,” she said.

Council responds

Namgongo said it was the council's responsibility to take care of the open market and they would not allow individuals to do it on their behalf.

He said the council has qualified health inspectors who are conducting public education on the coronavirus pandemic.

“As an activist Immanuel's responsibility is to notify us if she sees the open market is filthy so that we can clean up. We cannot allow her clean the open market because vendors have their property there and we have to protect them and that is why there are security officers,” Namgongo said

“We also cannot give her permission to distribute sanitisers. We don't know where she gets them from and their authenticity.”