Town hall meeting fallout

08 August 2019 | Government

Omuthiya management committee chairperson Beata Nashongo says she will take unspecified action against former councillor Moses Amukoto for claiming at a presidential town hall meeting that she is corrupt.

However, mayor Katrina Uusiku, who was also implicated at the drama-filled gathering, said she will not take any action.

Amukoto interrupted President Hage Geingob's town hall meeting at Omuthiya last month to accuse Nashongo and Uusiku of allegedly facilitating rampant corruption at the town.

Despite Geingob trying to interject by urging Amukoto to avoid spreading “unfounded rumours while on record”, the former councillor was defiant and continued to allege that the two office-bearers are corrupt.

“The mayor of Omuthiya town is corrupt, she owns more than five plots without paying anything, and the chairperson of Omuthiya town is corrupt.

The person who can attest to this is the CEO of the town. I am not scared and ready for whatever that is coming,” Amukoto said.

Nashongo said this week she is will take an action against Amukoto, but did specify what action.

Nashongo is accused of having misused her power to push for the recruitment of a finance and human resource manager, who came second in an interview process with a score of 66.6%, at the expense of an internal candidate who came out tops with 77.8%.

“We recruit according to the need of the council and not whether we know the person or not. I will make sure I clear my name and I will not stop, but I will take an action against Amukoto,” Nashongo said.

New Era reported that outgoing CEO Samuel Mbango, in a letter addressed to urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga, singled out Uusiku, her deputy Heskiel Nanyeni, Nashongo and management committee member Enos Shipahu for allegedly using their positions for self-gratification.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating alleged corrupt practices at the Omuthiya town council after some Swapo members laid complaints against their representatives.

On 22 June, a group led by Amukoto and Swapo's Omuthiya district coordinator Magnus Nangombe calling itself 'Swapo Party Members, Supporters, Veterans and Sympathisers in Omuthiya District' submitted a petition against the Omuthiya town council to the party's regional coordinator for Oshikoto, Armas Amukwiyu.

Amukwiyu, who serves on the tender committee of the Omuthiya town council, was accused of similar corrupt practices.

In a petition handed over to Amukwiyu, the group alleged that corruption and other misbehaviours committed by the seven councillors representing Swapo at Omuthiya was destroying the party's image and they requested Amukwiyu to bring them to order.

The allegations

Uusiku is accused of influencing the council to employ her husband, Thomas Uusiku, as grader operator despite him not performing well in the job interview.

The group further alleged that the mayor had influenced the council to send her husband for grader operator training in South Africa at a monthly cost of N$100 000, which the council paid.

They further accused her of occupying several plots at the town without paying anything.

Nanyeni, who previously served as mayor, is accused of allocating himself a residential plot in Extension Five without paying.

Nashongo, is accused of nepotism when employing council staff.

Shipahu is accused of facilitating the sale of the Swapo Party Women's Council property, Erf No 2 in Omuthiya Proper, after he signed the sale document as witness. Shipahu is further accused of allocating himself multiple plots without paying for them.

Councillor Samuel Shivute, the former chairperson of the council's management committee, is also accused of overseeing the sale of a Swapo Party property. While he was the chairman of the management committee, he also allegedly allocated multiple plots to his relatives.

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