maruru municipal officials ignore petitioning residents

OMARURU: A group of concerned residents in Omaruru on Monday staged a peaceful demonstration against the operations of the Omaruru Municipality.

A street march of less than 50 people started at Ozondje residential area to Omaruru Town Council building (about five-kilometres), on Monday morning.

Their street march was not escorted by some members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol).

However, the concerned group of residents here had prepared a petition to the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh.

Their petition was simply ignored by all senior officials of the Omaruru Municipality, and it was therefore never received.

The group’s spokesperson, Vistoh Sabisa returned home with the petition in his handbag.

In the petition, the group had expressed concerns in the manner the local authority councillors of Omaruru Town Council were suspended in December 2013.

The group said the suspended councillors were democratically elected, and that up to now they have not been legally charged since their suspension on 16 December 2013.

The Omaruru local authority councillors were allegedly suspended by Namoloh after they had failed to implement recommendations from his office.

The seven suspended councillors, majority from opposition parties are, Vincent Kahua from the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo); Albertus !Naruseb from the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP); and Christiaan Nanuseb from the United Democratic Front (UDF).

The late Cretensian Garises was from the RDP and Johannes Hamutenya, Hendrina Gebhardt and Phillip Nghipandulwa from the Swapo-Party.

On 24 December 2013, the Omaruru Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul Ganaseb was also suspended while on leave.

The Omaruru concerned group also wants to know why the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD), has appointed Linus Garoeb as a representative of the ministry if the council is not dissolved.

Garoeb is the retired Chief Regional Officer of the Erongo Regional Council.

The group also expressed concerns with some capital projects allegedly on hold since the suspension of the local authority councillors and their CEO, Ganaseb.

The group was referring to capital projects like the tarring of street roads in Ozondje residential area, construction of low cost houses at the town and channeling of potable and sewerage water pipelines.

Their petition also stated that about 47 casual and contracted general labourers working at the Omaruru Municipality will have to be laid-off end of this month.

Garoeb who represents the MRLGHRD at the Omaruru Municipality allegedly refused to see the concerned group or receive their petition on Monday.

Shortly after the group had dispersed Garoeb was seen walking around the municipality building.

On his part, the Omaruru Corporate Community Development Officer, Ephraim Katjatenja said the municipality could not say or do anything with the concerned residents because there is a forensic audit going on at the Omaruru Town Council.

Katjatenja said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), is also busy investigating some multiple complaints at the council.

“Therefore, there is nothing we can do for now,” he said.

Katjatenja and three other colleagues were on suspension half of 2013 on several accusations by the suspended councillors.

Katjatenja was allegedly suspended on basis that he did not hold authentic qualifications.

The Omaruru Town Council manager for human resources (HR), Roswitha Kaura was allegedly suspended for leaking confidential information.

The Fleet Management Clerk, Walter Kanguatjivi and Penda Nghaamwa the finance manager and now acting CEO were suspended on accusations of insubordination.

The four officials were reinstated on 17 December 2013, a day after the Omaruru local authority councillors were suspended by Namoloh.

(edited)OMARURU: A group of concerned Omaruru residents staged a peaceful demonstration against the operations of the town’s municipality on Monday.

About 50 people marched from the Ozondje residential area to the Omaruru Town Council’s building.

They had prepared a petition for the attention of the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh, but the petition was never handed over as their demonstration was ignored by senior officials of the municipality.

In the petition, the group expressed concerns about the manner in which a number of Local Authority councillors were suspended during December 2013.

The group said the suspended councillors were democratically-elected, and complained that they have not been legally-charged since their suspension on 16 December.

The Omaruru Local Authority councillors were allegedly suspended by Namoloh after they had failed to implement recommendations from his office.

The seven suspended councillors, the majority of whom are from opposition parties, are Vincent Kahua from the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO); Albertus !Naruseb of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP); Christiaan Nanuseb from the United Democratic Front (UDF); the late Cretensia Garises from the RDP; and Johannes Hamutenya, Hendrina Gebhardt and Phillip Nghipandulwa from the Swapo-Party.

On 24 December 2013, Omaruru’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Ganaseb was also suspended.

The Omaruru concerned group also wanted to know why the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development appointed Linus Garoeb as a representative of the ministry if the council had not been dissolved.

Garoeb is the retired Chief Regional Officer of the Erongo Regional Council, and was appointed by Namoloh to manage the affairs of the council after the suspension of the councillors.

The group is also concerned about some capital projects which are allegedly on hold since the suspension of the local authority councillors and their CEO, Ganaseb.

They were referring to capital projects like the tarring of streets in the Ozondje residential area, the construction of low-cost houses and the channelling of potable and sewage water pipelines.

In the petition, they furthermore alleged that 47 casual and contracted general labourers working at the Omaruru Municipality will be laid off at the end of this month.

Garoeb apparently refused to see the concerned group, or receive their petition on Monday.

Shortly after the group dispersed, he was reportedly seen walking around the municipal building.

Approached for comment, the Omaruru Corporate and Community Development Officer, Ephraim Katjatenja said the municipality could not say or do anything about the group’s concerns as a forensic audit is being carried out at the town council.

He noted that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is also busy investigating multiple complaints at the council.

“There is nothing we can do for now,” he stated.

Katjatenja and three other colleagues were on suspension last year after several accusations were levelled against them by the suspended councillors.

He was suspended on the basis that he allegedly does not hold authentic qualifications.

The town council’s Manager for Human Resources, Roswitha Kaura, was allegedly also suspended for leaking confidential information, while the fleet management’s clerk, Walter Kanguatjivi and Finance manager Penda Nghaamwa, who is now acting as CEO, were suspended on accusations of insubordination.

The four officials were reinstated on 17 December 2013, a day after the Omaruru Local Authority councillors were suspended by Namoloh.

SOURCE: NAMPA