Angry Shaningwa washes her hands

The Swapo SG says she wants nothing to do with the affairs of the Rundu town council and never wants to be contacted in connection with the matter again.

10 May 2019 | Politics

Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa says she does not want to be disturbed by questions about the ongoing fracas unfolding among ruling party councillors in Rundu.

The political mess includes a party directive being defied by three Swapo councillors, who were later recalled by Shaningwa, before a meeting chaired by President Hage Geingob in February seemed to pour oil on troubled waters.

However, the dust is simply refusing the settlement. Last Thursday the town council was to have convened to swear in a third councillor to be part of the management committee, so the body could become functional.

However, this never happened after Ralph Ihemba allegedly reneged on an agreement he had struck with James Sankwasa, who is the chairperson of the Swapo leaders assigned to Kavango East.

Shaningwa was dragged back into the fracas by allegations that she pulled the strings to have Ihemba renege on the deal to serve on the committee.

The Rundu battle has steadily unfolded since last year, culminating in Shaningwa's initiative to retain Verna Sinimbo as mayor and Ralph Ihemba as her deputy being defied.

In complete defiance, the council elected Isack Kandingu as mayor and Toini Hausiku as his deputy earlier this year, while Anastacia Shinduvi-Foya was elected as the chairperson of the management committee, which remains incomplete and unable to attend to critical administrative affairs in a town beset by monumental challenges.

An annoyed Shaningwa said this week she has nothing to do with the Rundu council's affairs and never again wants to be contacted about the matter.





“I think you are very much aware that I was nearly taken to court as far those things are concerned and I really do not know why you people are disturbing me with these types of things.

“I do not want anyone to call me as far as this issue is concerned; you people leave me alone. They said they are not going to follow the directive of the Swapo Party, but here and there, day and night, people are following and asking me. My directive was done away with long time ago.

“I stopped and they are on their own, this is what they wanted - to be on their own.





They are not under the umbrella of the Swapo Party. Nonsense man,” Shaningwa said.



“I wanted services for the Rundu town council and as the former minister of urban and rural development, I never discriminated against any town council. Why should I discriminate against any town council now?”



When contacted for comment recently, Sankwasa confirmed he visited Rundu and secretly met with Ihemba, whom he said eventually agreed to take up the third position on the Rundu management committee.



Sankwasa said he then arranged for another meeting with the councillor, in the presence of Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo and Shinduvi-Foya.



Sankwasa added it was also decided that acting Rundu CEO Sikongo Haihambo was to be contacted, so the swearing-in ceremony could take place.



When contacted for comment, Ihemba said he had not been aware of the swearing-in ceremony.



When asked whether his consultation with Ihemba was approved by Shaningwa, Sankwasa said he was guided by the lack of progress on the Rundu issue.



“There are problems and the problems are caused by this one (person), who is refusing, and I go to this one (person) to ask: Why are you refusing? Did I need top management for that?”



This week Haihambo tendered his resignation and will leave the council at the end of June.



When contacted for comment, urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga said the ministry will soon communicate with the Rundu town council.

“I am going to address that issue with the Rundu town council. I will be writing a letter to them.”

KENYA KAMBOWE

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