Omaruru protest taking place on Wednesday: !Naruseb

OTJIWARONGO: A protest by suspended local authority councilors and their supporters is expected to take place at Omaruru on Wednesday.

One of the suspended councilors leading the preparations for the protest, Albertus !Naruseb told Nampa on Monday that more than 300 people from his party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), will form part of the demonstration.

In total, about 500 people are expected to take part in the demonstration.

All seven councilors were suspended without pay by the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Charles Namoloh on 16 December 2013 after they allegedly failed to implement recommendations from his office.

!Naruseb called for more concerned community members to join the protest, which is aimed at demanding the immediate reinstatement of the suspended Omaruru town councilors.

Reacting to allegations going around Omaruru that the planned mass-protest might become violent, !Naruseb ruled out any possibility of violence during the march.

“It will be a peaceful demonstration as the police will be present to lead us in the march. We only want to demand answers from Government on our suspension,” !Naruseb said.

He also confirmed on Monday that he is organizing the peaceful demonstration with the help of other local opposition party leaders from the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and United Democratic Front (UDF).

The march to the Omaruru Municipality head office in town will start at the Ozondje taxi rank.

!Naruseb said he will read out a petition at the municipality, and the group will then camp on the premises of the municipality until they get a satisfactory answer about their re-instatement from the relevant authorities.

The Omaruru Town Council was managed by seven local authority councilors, majority of whom are from the opposition parties.

Vincent Kahua of Nudo was town mayor, while !Naruseb from the RDP was his deputy.

Christiaan Nanuseb from UDF was chairperson of the management committee, deputised by the late Kretensia Garises of the RDP.

Swapo-Party representatives Johannes Hamutenya, Hendrina Gebhardt and Phillip Nghipandulwa were all ordinary councillors.

On his part, Nanuseb of the UDF told this news agency last week that more than 100 people from his party will form part of the planned peaceful demonstration.

“We are not instigating any violence. Our members want to see justice. My people want to see me reinstated or replaced with another UDF member on the council seat, if I am found guilty,” he said.

Nanuseb stressed that Government must pronounce itself on the suspension issue.

The Erongo Regional Council (ERC)’s retired Chief Regional Officer, Linus Garoeb was appointed by Namoloh to manage all affairs of the Omaruru Municipality during the council’s suspension last year on his behalf.

Garoeb told Nampa when contacted for comment last Thursday that it is everyone’s democratic right to stage a peaceful demonstration, as long as proper procedures are followed.