Suspended Omaruru Councillors Threaten to Stage Sit-in

Some suspended Omaruru town councillors and close to 100 supporters have threatened to camp at the town’s municipal offices if Regional and Local Government Minister Charles Namoloh does not reinstate them (the councillors) within the next 48 hours.

The councillors yesterday afternoon marched to the town’s municipal offices to hand over a petition in which they demanded reinstatement as soon as possible to avoid further action.

They are Swapo councillors Phillip Nghipandulwa, Tuli Gebhardt and Johannes Hamutenya, mayor Vincent Kahua (Nudo), deputy mayor Albertus Naruseb (RDP), and management committee chairman Christiaan Nanuseb, a UDF member.

Minister Namoloh suspended the councillors on December 17 last year without pay after they failed to implement his recommendations.

The recommendations were made after a ministerial probe uncovered a string of irregularities at the municipality. The investigation unearthed shocking irregularities involving some councillors who allegedly acquired municipal campsites for themselves as well as tailor-made houses through the Build Together housing scheme.

Speaking on behalf of the suspended councillors and supporters yesterday, Christiaan Nanuseb referred to their suspension as shocking and totally unacceptable.

“Honourable Minister, we regard this as a cul-de-sac that undermines the fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law,” he said.

He added that the minister’s action to suspend the councillors undermines provisions of Chapter 12 of the the Namibian Constitution, especially Article 102 which deals with the establishment of local and regional government.

The events also put the minister in total breach of the oath he took to defend, protect and uphold the laws of the country, Nanuseb charged.

“Why do we have local authorities if the minister can run all the local authorities? We cannot accept and tolerate the minister’s actions as the suspension derailed all the developments and some future plans of the town, therefore we are demanding to be reinstated within 48 hours otherwise we will take further steps,” said Nanuseb.

Omaruru Municipality caretaker Linus Garoeb, appointed by Namoloh last year to fill the void left by the suspended councillors, received the petition on behalf of the minister and said that the petition would be forwarded to Namoloh.

Source : New Era