PDM, RDP approach cops over council meeting

29 April 2020 | Local News

JANA-MARI SMITH
WINDHOEK

Two Windhoek city councillors this morning opened a criminal case against Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu and acting city CEO Pahukeni Titus for violating the state of emergency regulations around gatherings.
Last week, a 23 April council meeting was postponed to next week following complaints that the meeting did not meet the necessary critical standards of the state of emergency regulations.
Nevertheless, yesterday acting chief executive officer Titus issue a notice to all councillors that the meeting, which he wrote was “unprocedurally postponed” would now take place today at 14:00.
This morning Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) councillor Brunhilde Cornelius and Ignatius Semba of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) approached the police and opened a case in an effort to stop what they say is a meeting that contravenes regulation 5 of the Covid-19 state of emergency rules.
“There is nothing on the agenda that indicates the meeting will deal with any critical issues that would allow the amended Covid-19 state of emergency regulations to be violated,” Cornelius said this morning, after she confirmed that a case had been registered (CR 332/04/2020).
“As leaders and as local authority councillors of the City of Windhoek, why would you want to contravene the regulations where we are in a crisis?”
Cornelius added that a council meeting involves more than the allowed 10 people, and that this not only violates the regulations around gatherings, but social distancing requirements.
On 23 April, Cornelius wrote an urgent letter to Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise, asking that the council meeting scheduled for that day be postponed due to the state of emergency regulations.
As a result, a memorandum was issued by Kahimise, on the same day, informing all councillors and city officials that all strategic meetings for the “remainder of April 2020 and the month of May 2020” will be rescheduled “in line with the national regulations guiding the lockdown measures as a result of the Covid-10 pandemic.
The memorandum noted that the council meeting of 23 April would be shifted to 7 May.
In response, some councillors argued that the council meeting can take place under law, as there are “critical items to discuss”.
Mayor Kahungu was not aware yet of the police case when she was contacted for comment before 13:00 today.



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