Recalled Rundu councillors defiant

30 December 2019 | Local News

Three Swapo councillors who were recently recalled from the Rundu town council are refusing to accept their fate and have questioned the legality of their removal.

They are arguing that the Swapo district executive failed to cite either the party constitution or the Local Authority Act when removing them.

The trio have indicated that if the Swapo Rundu Urban district executive does not stop interfering in the swearing in of office-bearers, legal action will follow.

In a no holds barred letter to Swapo Rundu Urban district coordinator Gabriel Hakusembe, Isak Kandingu points out the alleged irregularities relating to his, Toini Hausiku and Anastacia Shinduvi's unceremonious recall. According to Hakusembe the trio were recalled on the basis that they do not attend district meetings, leaving the district in the dark over what transpires at the local authority.

The trio are to be replaced by Serafine Mandjoro, Johaness Ngondo and Romanus Munika. However, Kandingu argues that at no point did Hakusembe, who authored their recall letter, cite the Local Authority Act or the Swapo constitution. He also stressed that when a candidate serves on a local authority, they do not become puppets of the party they represent, but people who serve in the best interests of the residents of that particular town

“The party members serving on the town council cannot just be withdrawn in terms of the Swapo constitution and or in terms of the Act, without due process of the law,” Kandingu wrote on 20 December.

“I now hereby write to inform the district executive and the regional executive committee leadership that when a candidate lawfully serves on the town council on a party ticket, such person does not serve as puppet of the party nor is such individual without free will or an independent opinion from that of the party, provided such opinion is in the best interest of the town council he or she serves (on).”

Kandingu also used the opportunity to draw Hakusembe's attention to the Local Authority Act on the issue of directives from political parties. He said in terms of the Act a political party has no legal basis to issue a directive on the election of office-bearers, as the directive would be “unlawful and without any legal force”. “Should the district executive or any individual by any means impede or attempt to impede the councillors from achieving their statutory obligations, appropriate legal action against the district executive and other individuals involved will be taken,” Kandingu said.

Hakusembe confirmed he has seen Kandingu's letter. He, however, said he will not respond to it because a Rundu town council letterhead had been used and that Kandingu had been recalled from the local authority. Hakusembe is also troubled by the fact the Kandingu is still being transported in the council vehicle.

“How can I respond to a letter which is on the logo of the local authority? The district has decided,” Hakusembe said.

He said the district will meet next year to discuss the way forward.

Attempts to get comment from Swapo Kavango East regional coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi proved futile.



KENYA KAMBOWE

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