23 January 2018

Namibia: Khorixas Mayor Faces Recall Over Alleged UDF Links

Windhoek — The Swapo district executive committee at Khorixas is claiming to have recalled the town's mayor, Elizabeth Geises, on Saturday, over her alleged conniving with the opposition UDF party to help her retain the mayoral throne.

According to Swapo district coordinator of Khorixas, Rice Haraeb, Geises reportedly collaborated with UDF to gain the mayoral post last December.

"We (Swapo) have recalled her due to allegations that she is collaborating and uniting with UDF in a coalition to get the mayoral position," Haraeb told New Era yesterday.

Haraeb said that the Kunene regional executive committee of Swapo was sent the letter of recalling Geises yesterday and they will forward the request to the national level.

An independent team will be set up by the regional executive committee of Swapo to investigate claims that Geises collaborated with opposition UDF to get the mayoral position.

For the first time at Khorixas, both UDF and Swapo share leadership positions although Swapo holds a clear majority of four seats, while UDF occupies three.

"Geises is sleeping with the opposition in the same bed," Haraeb told New Era.

When contacted for a comment Geises said: "I won't comment on anything. Let the Swapo leadership discuss the matter."

Geises is expected to remain mayor while awaiting decision from the Swapo politburo, which is likely to ask for evidence that the mayor has indeed collaborated with the opposition for personal gain.

Bernadette Jagger, member of parliament who hails from Khorixas told New Era that the Khorixas executive committee must follow procedures when recalling members and that proper investigations must be done and councillors give full account of what transpired in December.

"They must be honest and tell us. We (Swapo) have a clear majority, " Jagger said.

Another member of the district executive committee told New Era that procedures were not followed. "During the December vote more councillors voted from Swapo with UDF. How sure are they that Geises was conniving with opposition alone besides it was a secret ballot?"

Some claim Saturday's meeting was unconstitutional as inactive branches such as Twyfelfontein, Houmoed and Sorri Sorris were represented while the Donkerhoek branch sent more members. The motion to recall Geises is said to have been tabled by Olaf Gowaseb, however a motion for the matter to be discussed on February 13, was later withdrawn.

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