Namibia: Swapo Must Rein in Errant Councillors

16 April 2021

The sheer arrogance exhibited by Swapo councillors serving on the //Kharas Regional Council cannot go unchallenged. For a second time in a row, elected Swapo regional councillors for Karasburg West, Oranjemund and !Nami#Nus constituencies flatly refused to attend a special session called to nominate and elect the remaining members of the //Kharas Regional Council management committee.

The election of the management committee is a constitutional obligation whereby council elects a management committee from amongst its members, which, among others, ensures that council decisions are implemented.

Because of petty politicking, the Swapo councillors ostensibly at the instruction of the regional leadership boycotted the two meetings with party coordinator for //Kharas Matheus Mumbala, to the extent of blaming the snub on the "poor organisation" of the meeting.

Mumbala was also quoted as saying "Residents in //Kharas region decided they do not need Swapo for the next five years, so let LPM rule for that period".

We find these comments as not only astounding but distasteful at the same time. It is very selfish of Mumbala to seemingly suggest that elected leaders in the region are not willing to work with other council members.

This is not encouraging, especially when carried out at the expense of voters who have given politicians the mandate to represent their interests.

The shifting political dynamics in Namibia now more than ever requires a better balance between partisanship and bipartisanship.

Political parties have already devised ways of constructively working together in the best interest of citizenry following last year's regional council and local authority elections.

What makes Mumbala and his team in the south so special? Opposition councillors have been part and parcel of structures headed by Swapo leaders over the years.

The ruling party prides itself in being the movement that delivered independence - and by extension democracy. As such, it is not absurd to expect Swapo and its councillors to be at the forefront of being custodians of democracy.

The actions of Swapo councillors in that region and the sentiments of Mumbala are seemingly to the contrary.

For a party that has expressed a desire to win back the //Kharas region, these actions are puzzling and will certainly not win back the trust of inhabitants in constituencies lost by the ruling party.

The message should be clear - not just for Swapo councillors but those in any other constituencies; if you are unwilling or unable to perform your constitutional obligation to serve the people and serve in the interest of the people, then resign and make way for those with interest to serve.

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