Rundu leadership crisis deepens

28 February 2020 | Local News

Rundu acting CEO Fransiska Thikerete is set to part ways with the town council today, and with the continued absence of a management committee, the local authority is set to run on autopilot.

Thikerete, who served as head of community services, confirmed yesterday she is indeed leaving the council after five years.

She is expected to commence work at her new employer on Monday.

Thikerete said she is leaving for personal reasons.

“Yes, it is true, I am leaving the Rundu town council for personal reasons,” she said.

An impasse between local Swapo councillors and the party's Rundu Urban district executive committee has led to the office-bearers election and swearing-in ceremony being postponed indefinitely.

The town has been without a substantive CEO for the past two years.

To add insult to injury, Thikerete's resignation means the council needs to fill two key positions following the sudden resignation of Mathews Naironga late last year.

Naironga served as the strategic executive for the technical department. When contacted for comment, urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga said the matter is being dealt with by his ministry.

“The ministry is seized with the matter of Rundu, with all the relevant stakeholders. It is a process,” Mushelenga said in a brief text message. Mushelenga joined Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa for a visit to Rundu earlier this month, in an unsuccessful attempt to remedy the situation.

The Swapo Rundu Urban district executive committee resolved last December to recall three of the five councillors serving on the town council, an action the party's regional leadership disapproves of.

The three recalled councillors are Isak Kandingu, Anastacia Antonio and Toini Hausiku.

Shaningwa had hoped to meet all the stakeholders, including the district executive committee, the trio and the Swapo Kavango East leadership, but the latter two parties boycotted the meeting.

The trio also wrote a letter to the Swapo top leadership in which they requested party president Hage Geingob to intervene in the unfolding mess at the town council before the matter heads to court.

They also claim that Shaningwa is compromised, after her failed attempt to recall the trio earlier last year. At the time, the matter had to be resolved at the party's headquarters by Geingob.

Kenya Kambowe