Game of musical chairs

The ‘Progressive Forces’ marriage is all but over, after PDM and AR abstained from elections and nominations at the 11th hour, leaving them in a silent council majority with the ruling party Swapo.

02 December 2021 | Politics

STAFF REPORTER







WINDHOEK

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Affirmative Repositioning’s (AR) 11th-hour announcement yesterday that they will abstain from council election means a majority group of eight councillors from various formations – including the ruling party Swapo – has more voting power than the seven councillors controlling the management committee and mayoral office.

This new balance has left the future of the ‘Progressive Forces’ coalition in tatters, with PDM and AR yesterday seemingly distancing themselves from the pact – and with sources saying they are now leaning towards Swapo to form a majority of eight councillors from a council of 15 seats.

This was first hinted by AR leader and outgoing mayor Job Amupanda when he stated on Twitter, just before elections yesterday afternoon: “We will remain in the benches observing a minority government”.

Landless People’s Movement (LPM) councillor Sade Gawanas, nominated and seconded by Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillors Jurgen Hecht and Ndeshihafela Larandja respectively, is the new mayor of Windhoek.

She will be deputised by Joseph Uapingene of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo).

With Swapo, PDM and Nudo all abstaining from nominations and elections, the new City of Windhoek management committee will comprise Larandja, Otilie Uukule, Hecht, Bernadus Araeb – all from IPC - and Ivan Skrywer of LPM.

Swapo has the most seats by an individual party – five - while AR and PDM have two and one seat respectively, leaving them in a collective majority if they formally decide to work together.

“For the first time you will have a minority leadership. They are seven and we are eight. We will dictate what is to be approved at council,” a City councillor told Namibian Sun late yesterday.

Foes to friends

Last year, LPM abstained from the election process, which it said had become a competition for positions. This time around, LPM and IPC, who had never seen eye-to-eye in the past, were the biggest allies at yesterday’s elective meeting.

The ruling coalition, which comprised of AR, IPC, PDM and Nudo councillors, became shaky in recent weeks and was always headed for a collapse.

Power struggles between AR and IPC, punctuated by IPC leader Panduleni Itula’s alleged flirtations with LPM without the consent of other coalition partners, was the final straw to a quarrelsome alliance whose marriage was only formalised in August this year.

Gawanas, a former air hostess of liquidated national airline Air Namibia, takes over a city beset by challenges such as land, housing and sanitation.

A critic of Amupanda’s style of leadership, yesterday she parted a shot at her predecessor by stating that solutions to the City’s myriad of challenges cannot be found through social media.

Amupanda has often been criticised for using his social media platforms to announce major council resolutions, sometimes ahead of the City’s communications departments.

Paradigm of teamwork

In her acceptance speech, seemingly prepared ahead of the elections, Gawanas urged her fellow councillors not to discount the ideological differences they may have, but instead use that for the benefit of all of the City’s residents.

“Allow me to continue reach out to each one of you in your respectful roles as individuals. You have assurance of my support and understanding. As a collective, it is important to single out that the differences we may share demonstrate our uniqueness.

“We are obliged to convert our uniqueness into an opportunity that culminates into a much-needed paradigm of teamwork,” she said.

Similar News

 

SPYL gives Sheya the cold shoulder

19 hours ago | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE RUNDUSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo says comments by former...

Geingob pressured to endorse successor

1 day - 18 January 2022 | Politics

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob is allegedly under pressure to endorse his party deputy...

IPC’s Smith-Howard challenges suspension

1 day - 18 January 2022 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEK Erongo regional council chairperson Ciske Smith-Howard is challenging a decision by...

Regional structures ignore Shaningwa’s directive

2 days ago - 17 January 2022 | Politics

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUBoth Swapo’s Kavango East and Khomas regional leaderships have defied a 2020 directive by party secretary-general, Sophia Shaningwa, who...

Leading the Queer liberation struggle

1 week ago - 11 January 2022 | Politics

Rivaldo KavangaRaised in the conservative coloured community of Narraville in Walvis Bay, where opportunities were limited and dreaming big was a luxury for many young...

Search for Geingob’s replacement starts

2 weeks ago - 04 January 2022 | Politics

TOIVO NDJEBELAWINDHOEKTemperatures are set to spike within the ruling party Swapo this year, as it seeks to elect, at this year’s elective congress, a candidate...

Swapo coordinators praise Geingob

4 weeks ago - 22 December 2021 | Politics

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKThe ruling party’s regional coordinators have heaped praise on party leader, Hage Geingob, whom they lauded for “going out of...

LPM wants Sona slate wiped clean

1 month - 20 December 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKLandless People’s Movement (LPM) leaders Bernadus Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb have returned to the High Court, this time demanding...

‘Job rigging’ claims at Swapo company

1 month - 20 December 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKA Swapo company, Guinas Investments, has been accused of ‘rigging’ the recruitment process of a business administrator at the entity...

Namundjebo-Tilahun seeks answers on Swapo deputy SG position

1 month - 17 December 2021 | Politics

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKMartha Namundjebo-Tilahun, a contender for the position of deputy secretary-general of Swapo at the party’s 2017 congress, has requested a meeting with the party’s...

Latest News

Buying, selling a business as...

19 hours ago | Business

Audrey van Antwerpen – Many entrepreneurs at one stage or another consider buying or selling a business, especially in these challenging economic times.Where a business...

China cuts rates on policy...

19 hours ago | Economics

China’s central bank on Monday unexpectedly cut the borrowing costs of its medium-term loans for the first time since April 2020, while some market analysts...

Uganda hit by fuel shortage...

19 hours ago | Economics

Ugandans were struggling Monday with a fuel shortage that has sent prices skyrocketing, as hundreds of trucks remain stuck in huge tailbacks at the border...

EDITORIAL: Watch South Africa closely...

19 hours ago | Opinion

South Africa is at a tipping point, something Namibia, as a tiny neighbour, must watch closely. Systemic political corruption in which private interests have significantly...

Swapo sacrifices social cohesion

19 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – “After three decades in political power, Swapo has wasted social capital and sacrificed the asset of social cohesion for short-term individual gains...

Covid-scarred economy riddled by risks

19 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Namibians entered 2022 tossing and turning about bleak prospects for jobs and a decent living: As the country enters its third year...

Global jobs recovery to take...

19 hours ago | Economics

EMMA FARGEThe global job market will take longer to recover than previously thought, with unemployment set to remain above pre-Covid-19 levels until at least 2023...

SPYL gives Sheya the cold...

19 hours ago | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE RUNDUSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo says comments by former...

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

19 hours ago | Business

Unilever faces a dilemmaUnilever faces a dilemma after its 50-billion-pound (US$68 billion) offer for GlaxoSmithKline's consumer healthcare assets was rejected.The bid for GSK's assets, including...

Load More