Swapo's Khomas regional leadership has replaced City of Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua with fellow councillor Fransina Kahungu.
The regional leadership endorsed this reshuffle last weekend, despite strong opposition from the party's top leadership aligned to president Hage Geingob's Team Harambee faction, The Namibian has learnt.
The youthful Ian Subasubani has been nominated as deputy mayor.
Kahungu - who has in the past advocated development in the informal settlements - and Subasubani, are known supporters of Team Swapo faction of the ruling party.
Kahungu was demoted from deputy mayor in 2017 after the Swapo congress that year.
The new city's management committee consists of Moses Shiikwa (chairperson), Paulus Emmanuel, Loide Kaiyamo, Ananias Niizimba and Teckla Uwanga.
The new leadership is expected to be sworn in today, if the Swapo regional politicians get their way.
Kazapua, who has served as Windhoek mayor since 2014, has been relegated to an ordinary councillor. It appears he has lost the support of fellow Swapo councillors, including the party's regional executive.
Kazapua replaced corruption-tainted former mayor Agnes Kafula, who is now a member of parliament.
He is accused by fellow Swapo councillors of sowing division in the council, especially when dealing with the city's chief executive officer, Robert Kahimise.
It is understood that some Swapo councillors were not happy with Kazapua's leadership, and subsequently called on the party's regional executive committee to appoint another mayor.
The chairperson of the Swapo leaders assigned to the Khomas region, Peter Katjavivi, hastily wrote to treasurer and acting regional coordinator Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun on 9 December, informing her to put the election on hold.
Namundjebo-Tilahun is currently acting in Elliot Mbako's position as he is currently on leave.
Katjavivi said: "It has come to the attention of the party leadership that there are outstanding issues that will become a key hindrance to the above-mentioned elections."
"Therefore, after consultations at the politburo level, it has been deemed necessary to put these elections on halt until further notice," he wrote.
Katjavivi yesterday defended his move saying "it is not correct to allege and imply that the Party leadership wants the status quo to remain."
"Keep in mind that Councilors serve at the behest of the party and therefore, the current discussions by the party leadership are binding to all party members and this is a normal exercise," he told The Namibian.
Sources involved in the process also said Kahimise likewise attempted to halt the process, but Namundjebo-Tilahun insisted that the events scheduled for today would continue.
Sources in the party's regional leadership claim the move is aimed at blocking the elections because of accusations that the newly elected leadership for the city is comprised of people who were aligned to a faction which opposed president Hage Geingob at the party's elective congress in 2017. Kazapua and Katjavivi are seen as Geingob loyalists.
The Khomas leadership has been a thorn in the flesh of the party's leadership in recent years.
In September this year, the Khomas leadership rejected an order by secretary general Sophia Shaningwa to re-elect delegates for the party's electoral college.
Shaningwa had ordered some regions to re-elect delegates for the electoral college, citing alleged irregularities.
Kahungu - born at Okapanda village in 1970 - started as a teacher in 1999 at the Olof Palme Primary School in Windhoek.
She holds a degree in education and a higher education diploma in secondary education from the University of Namibia.
In 1989, she was part of the Mweshipandeka High School pupils who organised a mass national demonstration for the withdrawal of apartheid South African forces from Namibia.
In 2006, Kahungu was elected as a coordinator for the Swapo Party's Women's Council in the Kakurukaze Mungunda branch, and was re-elected as such in 2010.
She joined the Windhoek City council in November 2010.
(Source: City of Windhoek website).