Swapo trio out in the cold

04 December 2019 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER



At least three Swapo members who had tendered their resignations - or were legally obliged to do so in pursuit of seats in the National Assembly - did not make the cut after last week’s general election.

They are Oshakati municipal CEO Werner Iita, Lüderitz mayor Hilaria Mukapuli and Oshakati town councillor Katrina Shimbulu.

The trio found themselves on the wrong side of the 63 seats that Swapo won following a dismal showing in the general election in which the former liberation movement lost its two-thirds majority.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) councillors Johannes Martin of the Ondangwa town council and Esmeralda !Aebes survived the chop by the skin of their teeth, after their resignations were submitted late and thus not gazetted.

Other Swapo members who tendered their resignations because of the enforcement of Article 47 were Walvis Bay constituency councillor Hafeni Ndemula, Oshikuku constituency councillor Modestus Amutse, Rundu town councillor Verna Sinimbo and ministry of education official Veno Kauaria.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) took a stand that this time it would not compromise on the enforcement of Article 47, a constitutional requirement that was never implemented religiously in the past.

Article 47 dictates that members of the National Council, local and regional councils must resign if they accept nomination for the National Assembly.

Remunerated civil servants must also resign, according to law.

With these resignations, the country may face a spate of by-elections in constituencies vacated by councillors.

The resignations of Shimbulu and Iita were submitted in October, but council only formally accepted and endorsed them last Friday, Namibian Sun was informed.

"The issue is that the future of these two officials has not yet been decided on. There is a lot of the infighting regarding who is to take which position. The person who is next on the Swapo list is not yet gazetted to replace Shimbulu," an official remarked yesterday.

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