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Grootfontein Council Opens Case Against CEO…Former Mayor Says Its Tribalism

By: Justicia Shipena, Ludorf Iyambo

The ongoing civil war at the Grootfontein municipality was etched deeper after the council opened a case of trespassing against its CEO Kisco Sinvula. 

Sinvula showed up for work yesterday after being suspended, and urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni found the suspension invalid. However, the council maintains he is still suspended.

Chairperson of the management committee of Grootfontein, Elizabeth Kastoor, confirmed the case of trespassing against Sinvula to The Villager. 

“We went and opened a case of trespassing. This person just decided to come back to the office. That is trespassing,” she said. 

According to her, the conflict is starting to turn physical, and she claims that the police at Grootfontein are brushing them off.

“Police are not helping at all. We even went up to the Regional Commander. They are giving us excuses that they need the minutes from the minister’s office. Is it how it works?” she questioned. 

She said the municipality building is council property. 

“If somebody is trespassing, we need intervention from the police,” she stressed. 

Kastoor added that everything is getting out of hand at the town’s municipality. 

“We are not getting any assistance from them. Things are getting out of hand here in Grootfotein. The community is now organising themselves to come down to the municipality office.”

She claimed that Sinvula stands accused of serious allegations and says Uutoini is not giving the council time to investigate him. 

“The minister is actually helping this person.”

Kastoor further narrated that Sinvula is throwing threats to those at the municipal building over his return to the office. 

“He was telling the security guards that if you touch me, blood will flow, threatening people left, right, and centre, banking on the table. He is throwing his muscles around,” she lamented. 

She added: “It is getting physical, and the police said they would only come when someone is injured. Those things are getting out of hand here.” 

She also questioned whether Sinvula was being protected because he was part of the Swapo Think Tank. 

“How many CEOs in Namibia have been suspended? Is it because he is in the think tank of Swapo that he is above the law and is protected by the minister?” she questioned.


She further said Sinvula did not return with a letter that would state that he could return. 

“The council suspended him with a letter, so if he has to come back to the office, it should be with one. He must come back with something in writing, whether from the minister, the council or the High Court, which says the minister said he could return.”

She said the council that took Sinvula out of office never declared his return.

“So, he should wait on the council for it declares him back. The council resolution still stands. The mayor promised the minister that we would go back, deliberate as council and come back to you, honourable minister,” she said. 

Kastoor further said Sinvula did not afford council time to sit and deliberate. 

“It was a long weekend, and we were supposed to sit on Tuesday morning, and we found the person in the office on Tuesday morning already. So the council did not have time to sit.”

She said the council will not sit while Sinvula is at the office.

The council is set to meet this Friday on the matter. 

When The Villager reached out to the police at Grootfontein, it said no case was opened against Sinvula by the council. 

“Maybe those are disputes at the municipality office. There is nothing here. Maybe they opened a case against each other there. We don’t have any information on them. There is nothing here.”


Meanwhile, former Grootfontein mayor and now ordinary councillor, Lovisa Iyambo, said Swapo headquarters should get involved in the chaos at Grootfontein municipality. Iyambo said the minister had done his part and the Swapo leadership should take action against the town’s current mayor, Talitha Garises, who is also a Swapo councillor. 

“The people on the ground are suffering more than people who are fighting in chambers. All the contracts that were put at hand to construct the roads are currently on hold because there’s no one to pay them. The signature of the CEO who is supposed to pay these contracts is removed from all the accounts. The current self-proclaimed CEO is just quiet. She’s not paying the people. She’s paying the companies that she wants.”

 She further said many projects at the town have been halted due to tribalism among the leaders. 

“Tribalism kills the nation, and it also causes civil wars. If you’re not born in Grootfontein, you will not be counted as a person. All the workers we found surrounding the municipality building yesterday to remove the CEO were just Damara speaking people. This was an indication that it was pure tribalism,” she said. 

She said there is a division among SWAPO leaders in Grootfontein because the current mayor is not cooperating with his fellow Swapo members.


Previously, the council had tightened its security to prevent Sinvula from entering his office in the Otjozondjupa region town.

The council has said Sinvula refused to vacate the office after his suspension.

Sinvula was suspended at a special council meeting held on 24 March 2022.

Kastoor, at that time, said the newly appointed acting CEO Sarie Hangara wrote to Rubicorn Services to up their security capacity at the premises to prevent Sinvula from entering.

“That is stated in the council resolution. The council resolved to suspend him, and he refused to leave the office, so we appointed the acting CEO.”

Grootfontein mayor Talitha Garises had also told The Villager that the management committee chair had requested that Sinvula be prohibited from entering office. 

Meanwhile, Sinvula argued that the action on Rubicorn regarding security is illegal. 

“This will cost the municipality lots of money, and the Rubicon contract expired some years ago,” he said. 

He had said he was never informed about him not having to enter the premises.

He added that the council is trying to get rid of him illegally. 

“I made it clear to the mayor that they are supposed to comply with the law, and failure to do that, I continue with my services as an accounting officer of the municipality.”

Sinvula had said he was consulting his legal representatives on the matter. 

Moreover, he argued that his suspension was illegal and non-compliant with the Local Authority Act. 

“Whatever they are doing, these are illegal transactions, and they are fully aware. All this is being done to tarnish my image.”

“You cannot take illegal action as councillors that took an oath to protect the country’s law. Why should they divert from the existing legal instruments by the government local authorities?” questioned Sinvula. 

Furthermore, Sinvula had also asked police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga for assistance so that he would not be prevented from entering his office.

Meanwhile, Grootfotein mayor Talitha Garises had claimed that Uutoni has done nothing to rescue the municipality, which is on the verge of disintegrating.

She had accused him of supporting chief executive officer Kisco Sinvula, who is accused of corruption.

 She further accused Uutoni of failing to come to the rescue of the municipality when it went for two and half months without a functioning council, plus what she called her “unlawful removal as councillor”.

“Why have you kept quiet on this and have not addressed this Honourable minister, but you have now chosen to defend Mr Kisco Sinvula, who is accused of corruption,” she said.

Sinvula was suspended over issues relating to the procedure used to appoint Kangueehi & Kavendjii Incorporated law firm to represent the council.

The council had said he was suspended in terms of Personnel Rule 35 of Local Authority Act 23 of 1992.

Thus it resolved to use standing rule 44 of the Local Authority Act 23 of 1992, which would have required the council first to get ministerial approval.


Justicia Shipena

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