New twist in Oshakati drama

07 February 2020 | Government

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In a dramatic move, the Swapo Oshana regional leadership has overturned a decision by the Oshakati East and West district executives to recall town councillors Onesmus Shilunga and Gabriel Kamwanka.

In a letter seen by Namibian Sun addressed to town council acting CEO Kornelius Kapolo, Swapo regional coordinator Samuel Nelongo said the regional leadership held a reconciliation meeting with the two district executives as well as the two councillors on Wednesday afternoon.

“The meeting decided to cancel the recalling of the two councillors that was done on Monday. I am here organising the swearing-in, and will inform the regional office of the date and time,” Nelongo wrote.

Shilunga and Kamwanka could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this week the Oshakati East and Oshakati West Swapo district executives jointly recalled Shilunga and Kamwanka, who in December boycotted the political office-bearers election at the town.

They had boycotted the election in protest against the Swapo Oshakati East district executive's decision to bring back Katrina Shimbulu after her resignation last October.

Shimbulu resigned following her nomination as a ruling party candidate for the November 2019 National Assembly election, but did not make it to parliament after Swapo's lukewarm performance that saw it lose its two-thirds majority and 14 seats.

Last year, Shimbulu and other politicians affected by the enforcement of Article 47 by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) had to resign upon acceptance of their nominations as MP candidates.

At Oshakati, both Shimbulu and CEO Werner Iita tendered their resignations.

Swapo Oshakati East district coordinator Maria Shivute and her Oshakati West counterpart Heimo Uudhila earlier this week said Shilunga and Kamwanka had failed to comply with the district executives' orders.

“Be informed that we received your letters dated 31 January and it is very much unfortunate that your request has not been accepted because you did not answer as expected. You were requested to accept or reject the offer to be sworn in on 31 January, but you failed,” they said in a letter to Shilunga and Kamwanka.

“The secretariats of the two district executives were left with no other option but to recall you and replace you as councillors, as per the rule and procedures of Swapo.”

“I can confirm that we have received our recall letters on Tuesday. We first have to sit down and see what decision we will then take. I do not think we have violated any rule, because when they asked us to give our reasons why we could not get sworn in, we just did that,” Kamwanka said earlier this week.

The council is expected to have its first meeting later this month.

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