Only congress can remove me – Shimbulu

23 February 2021 | Local News



President of the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) Katrina Shimbulu said she cannot abandon her duties and will serve until 8 July, when the next congress is expected to take place.

Shimbulu was responding to questions on how she stayed on to lead the institution despite not having been voted as a councillor again during the regional and local authority elections last year.

ALAN is an institution that represents all local authority members in Namibia. It provides a platform where these local authorities can air their grievances to afford them an opportunity to provide better services for the country.

According to ALAN Article 6.1.5, the elected members are expected to be part of ALAN for a period of five years.

In an interview with Namibian Sun, Shimbulu said she is preparing to hand over the office to those who will be elected during the upcoming congress.

“They are accusing me of loving positions and power but I cannot just abandon my responsibilities. I was elected during congress. I cannot just drop the seat, whether I am a councillor or not,” she said.

Before next congress

Shimbulu said their books are currently being audited and she needs to make sure all the paper work is completed before she hands over to the incoming president.

“As a leader, I have to stay on as per our constitution. I am happy to do that until I have given notice of the next congress meeting, which should be done three months in advance,” she said.

Shimbulu said all regions are represented by the members elected during the congress, which was held in 2016 at Oshakati.

She added that a president and a vice-president were elected as ALAN representatives and do not belong to any region.

Defending allowance increase

Shimbulu also used the opportunity to defend the proposed adjustment of local authority councillors’ allowances.

“This is an old proposal and it has been long overdue. Councillors don’t have housing allowance, no medical aid and no pension but they are fighting for their communities while they also need to have a decent life,” she said.

She said some councillors take home as little as N$107 once bills for water and electricity as well as rates and taxes are deducted, an indication that the allowances are “extremely low”.

“We want them to come to the level where they can also build themselves because they are basically working for free. The employed ones have to take unpaid leave from their jobs to attend meetings but they do not get remunerated for it. For them to properly assist the nation, we need to improve the living conditions,” she argued.

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