Rundu heeds Mushelenga's ultimatum

Rundu deputy mayor Toini Hausiku has been sworn in as the final member of the town council's management committee.

06 June 2019 | Government

Rundu deputy mayor Toini Hausiku has resigned in order to take up the vacant seat on the town's management committee, which has been in limbo amid internecine infighting between Swapo councillors.

This new development comes after urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga gave the councillors an ultimatum to finalise the management committee by this Friday, or face the consequences.

The minister said late last month that if Rundu failed to comply, he would invoke the provisions in section 92 of the Local Authorities Act, which among others can be used to remove or suspend local authority councillors if they fail to comply, as well as appoint any other person to perform any duties before an election is held within three months.

Hausiku's swearing-in as a member of the management committee was confirmed by Rundu acting CEO Sikongo Haihambo.

“Councillor Toini Hausiku was sworn in by Magistrate David Munsu as the third member of the Rundu town council management committee on Friday, 31 May, thereby completing the composition of the management committee in terms of the Local Authority Act, Act 23 of 1992,” Haihambo said in statement.

“Councillor Hausiku voluntarily relinquished her position as deputy mayor on 28 May. Hausiku became an ordinary councillor and thereby became eligible for appointment in any vacant position on the council.”

Hausiku joins Swapo councillor Anastacia Foya and All People's Party councillor Mathews Wakudumo on the management committee.

Foya was elected chairperson. The council will be operating without a deputy mayor until further notice.

It has been without a complete management committee since November last year, due to the political game of thrones unfolding among the town's five Swapo councillors.

The councillors have been on each other's throats following a November 2018 directive from Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa, who instructed that no changes should be made to the then office-bearers structure and that Verna Sinimbo should be retained as mayor.

Hausiku, Foya and Isak Kandingu, who was later elected as mayor in direct defiance of the directive, dug in their heels and refused to implement Shaningwa's instruction.

This infighting escalated to a point where a frustrated Haihambo tendered his resignation. He is expected leave the local authority by end of this month.

Among those who attended Hausiku's swearing-in ceremony were Kandingu, Foya, Wakudumo and Haihambo.

Sinimbo, fellow Swapo councillor and former deputy mayor Ralph Ihemba, as well as Reginald Ndara from the Rundu Concerned Citizens Association (RCCA) were all eligible for the vacant position on the management committee.

They were not present at the swearing-in ceremony.

Ihemba refused to comment.

“Speak to the mayor; I am not in charge of the council,” he said.

Sinimbo told Namibian Sun she was not aware of the latest development.

“I am not aware; talk to the political head. I was at the farm,” she said.

Attempts to get comment from Ndara proved futile at the time of going to print.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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