Shimbulu drags Swapo to court

01 April 2020 | Politics

ILENI NANDJATO

OSHAKATI

Ousted Oshakati councillor Katrina Shimbulu wants to drag Swapo to court following a decision by the ruling party’s Politburo to remove her as a councillor.

This emerged in a lawyer’s letter written to acting Oshakati CEO Helena Thomas, in which Shimbulu also threatens the town council with legal action, should it implement the Politburo’s “unlawful decision”.

Shimbulu’s lawyer, Henry Shimutwikeni, claimed that the party’s directive was illegal because his client had not been given an opportunity to be heard.

Precedent

He also quotes case law related to a previous matter in which Helao Nafidi councillor Ester Ndatala Nghidimbwa dragged the ruling party to court after Swapo failed to comply with an instruction from her lawyers to reverse its decision to remove her from the council.

Shimutwikeni said in the Nghidimbwa matter, which the court ruled on in 2017, “the decision by the party to remove the applicant as a councillor was done in violation of the basic principle of natural justice, as the applicant was not afforded an opportunity to be heard prior to her removal”.

“In this matter the court set aside the party’s decision to remove the applicant and the party was ordered to pay the applicants pay legal costs.

“Considering the above, take note that our client has instructed us to approach the High Court of Namibia to review and set aside the decision of the party to remove our client as a councillor.

“It has been shown in the abovementioned case that such decisions taken in that nature are unlawful and beg to be set aside. The town council and CEO shall be cited in the High Court application and shall therefore receive a copy of the application,” Shimutwikeni wrote.

U-turn

Shimbulu made a U-turn after resigning last year to stand as a Swapo candidate in the National Assembly election. She failed to make it into the new parliament after a dismal poll showing by the ruling party in which it lost its two-thirds majority and 14 seats.

Oshakati CEO Thomas said she had not yet received the letter, as she was working from home.

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