Rehoboth residents give town council 7 days to address issues

WINDHOEK: Residents of Rehoboth have given their town council seven working days in which to respond to their demands, or face drastic community action.

Community members wrote a letter to the town mayor Eva Maasdorp last Friday (04 April 2014), accusing the town council of repeated failure to address the residents’ issues and concerns.

“We have on several occasions before requested higher authorities such as the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (RLGHRD), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Attorney-General and the Office of the Prime Minister to attend to our issues, without success,” the letter states.

The residents said they feel that the failure of the government and the town council to attend to their complaints shows that these higher authorities are not interested to listen to them as taxpayers.

The residents also demanded that the council must drop the current legal action against Baster Kaptein John McNab, who has come under attack for allegedly distributing free land to the Baster community since December last year.

“Rather use that money to pay off the debt that we owe to NamWater and others. The community regards your decision to take legal action against the Kaptein as action against the community,” they stated.

The community also called for the removal of Theo Jankowski from his position as the town’s chief executive officer (CEO), accusing Jankowski of overstaying his term in office, allegedly with the mayor’s help.

Meanwhile, the community further demanded that council reverse its new planned valuation roll on property, which they say is aimed at destroying the community, as it has not been performed in a transparent manner.

They further accused the council of moving at a snail’s pace in terms of land distribution, as the majority of them remain landless.

Residents also demanded that the academic qualifications of the town’s resource manager, Willie Swartz, be investigated, claiming he obtained his qualifications fraudulently.

In a telephonic interview with Nampa here on Monday, Jankowski confirmed to this news agency that the letter which was directed to the council by the residence was indeed received by the mayor.

He said the mayor has promised the residence that she will take their demands at the council’s next meeting to deliberate on the issues outlined in the letter.

However, Jankowski also informed this reporter that currently there is no council meeting planned, and he is thus not sure whether these issues will be discussed at council level within the seven days.

Asked for his thoughts on the residents’ call for his removal as CEO, Jankowski said this demand is being made because the residence are under the false impression that he is individually responsible for the legal action that is being taken against McNab.

“My intention has never been to stay on as CEO. Council, including the United People’s Movement (UPM) councillors, requested me to stay on and oversee the recruitment of a new CEO,” Jankowski stated.