'No qualified person' to replace Shimbulu

03 January 2020 | Government

The Swapo regional leadership will next week decide the fate of the two Oshakati town councillors, Onesmus Shilunga and Gabriel Kamwanka, who boycotted the council's election of political office-bearers in December.

The boycott was in protest of the Swapo's Oshakati East and West district executive's decision to bring Katrina Shimbulu back into the council. Shimbulu had resigned in October in compliance with Article 47 of the Namibian constitution when she accepted nomination for the National Assembly elections.

Swapo performed poorly in the election, losing its two-thirds majority, and Shimbulu did not make the cut. She then returned to the local council despite having resigned.

Swapo regional coordinator Samuel Nelongo this week told Namibian Sun that the party had decided to bring Shimbulu back because there was no skilful person to replace her.

Nelongo said the two councillors might lose their positions if the party found that their reasons to boycott the vote were “not sound”.

Kamwanka had chaired the council's management committee for seven years, from 2011 to 2018, while Shilunga is a former mayor.

“When this happened I was not in the region and I did not get time to hear from the two councillors. We have to listen to their boycotting reasons and weigh if they hold water or not.

Then the party will take a decision accordingly. We will resume duty next week Monday and this issue will be resolved,” Nelongo said.

“If their reasoning does hold water, then as a regional office we will facilitate to attended to their concerns; however, if their reasons does not hold any water the Oshakati East and West district executive ... will solve this problem.”

Nelongo said party directives must be followed and respected.

Oshakati town council CEO Werner Iita had also resigned after accepting nomination for parliament.

Nelongo said the party has the power to deploy cadres to serve in local authorities depending on the skills presented in their CVs and in Shimbulu's case the party realised that there was no competent person to replace her.

“The two district executive decided to return Shimbulu and it is appropriate because based on the skills and expertise required, there was no suitable person to replace her,” said Nelongo.

He said if Shimbulu had made it to parliament, the party would have chosen someone from elsewhere to replace her.

There is also talk that Iita is likely to return as the town CEO. Sources say he was supposed to resume duty this week but it was postponed because the council has to sit first. Mayor Angelius Iyambo said acting council CEO Kornelius Kapolo's term would expire at the end of February.

ILENI NANDJATO

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