Omaruru suspended councillors to stage protest march

OTJIWARONGO: Omaruru’s suspended local authority councillors will hold a peaceful demonstration at the town later this month, to demand their immediate reinstatement.

One of the suspended councillors leading preparations for the demonstration, Albertus !Naruseb confirmed to Nampa in an interview on Thursday that nearly 500 people are expected to take part in the demonstration on 19 November this year.

“There will be no violence,” he said, reacting to suggestions that they were planning a violent protest.

“This will be a peaceful demonstration, as the police will be present to lead us. We only want to demand answers from Government on our suspension issue,” he stated.

He also confirmed that he is organising the peaceful demonstration with the help of some local opposition party leaders from Nudo and UDF.

The protest march is set to start from Ozondje Taxi Rank to the Omaruru Municipality head office in town.

!Naruseb 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 answers about their re-instatement from the relevant authorities.

The Omaruru councillors 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.

The town was managed by seven local authority councillors – the majority of whom are from opposition parties.

Vincent Kahua of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) was town mayor, while !Naruseb from Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) was his deputy.

Christiaan Nanuseb from the United Democratic Front (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.

Contacted for his comment on the issue on Thursday, Nanuseb of the UDF stressed that the planned demonstration will take place in a peaceful atmosphere.

“We are not instigating any violence here. 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. The government must pronounce itself on this suspension issue,” said Nanuseb.

Retired Erongo Regional Council (ERC) Chief Regional Officer, Linus //Garoeb, who was appointed by the minister to manage the affairs of the Omaruru Municipality during the council’s suspension, told Nampa when contacted on Thursday that it is everyone democratic right to stage peaceful demonstrations, as long as the proper procedures are followed.

“I have not received any notification letter from them, and if there is such a thing the police will let me know or maybe my notification letter is still coming,” said //Garoeb.