Induction workshop for councillors held at Rundu

An induction workshop for regional and local authority councillors started at Rundu on Monday.

The workshop, which ends Friday, was officially opened by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Uutoni.

Speaking during the official opening, Uutoni said the workshop was organised to assist the newly elected councillors to better understand the policies, legal institutional and administrative framework that governs the jurisdictions in which they operate.

The ultimate aim, he said, is for the councillors to manage the affairs of the council more effectively and efficiently and above all, to the expectation of the citizens.

Uutoni told the councillors not to use the knowledge gained for personal gain, but to use it in order to bring about better benefits for the public.

“Remember that as councillors you are servants and not masters of the people,” he said.

The minister said Namibians expect councils to be inclusive and people centred in nature.

He said councillors and council administrators should periodically consult and obtain the views of the community in the planning and implementation of development initiatives that affect them.

“Council meetings must not be used as platforms for divisive political agendas, but to discuss and find solutions to community problems and needs,” Uutoni said.

The workshop is being attended by 69 councillors from Divundu, Okongo, Swakopmund, Gobabis, Katima Mulilo, Usakos, Karasburg and Bukalo.

Topics such as an overview of government structure and applicable legislation in Namibia will be discussed during the training.

Meanwhile, Uutoni said access to serviced land must be the main priority of local authorities.

“As we all know the custody and administration of land in urban areas as well as in proclaimed settlements has been entrusted to local authority and regional councils. As such, councillors and administrators are the tier of government directly entrusted to create opportunities and provide access to serviced land together with the support from central government financially and technically,” the minister said.

Katima Mulilo Town Councilor John Ntemwa said the workshop is informative as they are being armed with knowledge of what is expected of them over the next five years, and also stresses the importance of unity amongst councillors when taking decisions regardless of their political affiliation.

Source: Namibia Press Agency