By: Justicia Shipena
Independent Patriot for Change (IPC) Swakopmund constituency councillor Ciske Howard-Smith says that the party’s leadership is not forthcoming in mediation talks.
This comes after attorney general Festus Mbandeka recommended that Howard-Smith returns to office while IPC finalises its investigations.
Howard-Smith told The Villager that mediation was planned in Windhoek; however, the party leaders booted out.
“I was in my car to go to Windhoek for a mediation with IPC, I was very excited to meet with them, and then they cancelled it,” she said.
She added that she is not the one, holding back in talks with the party and claims that the leadership is also not forthcoming in that matter.
“I am not the one not willing to sit down and sort this out. I am very eager to sort it out. The party’s leadership is not counter to mediate or talk,” Howard-Smith.
“Itula and the NGS were here in Swakopmund less than a month ago, and they did not even have a sit down with me. Which I again feel is quite unprofessional.”
In this vein, she said she is not the villain and has not hurt anyone.
“So, we can still act like adults and talk to each other. At the end of the day, we are here to serve the people and not our interests,” she adds.
Smith-Howard was restrained on 27 October 2021 by her party after allegations that she has not been residing in the Swakopmund constituency, where she was elected into office in 2020.
Speaking to The Villager on Wednesday, Howard-Smith said she is excited about being back in office duties as an IPC councillor.
“I am standing in my office as we speak. It feels great.”
According to her, there is no winner in the situation as people suffered without her, not in the office.
“It is really exciting to be back, and I’m glad I’m here. The work stood still. The only people that lose out are people of the community. So, with the three months I was kept out of office, I have a lot of work to do to catch on,” she said.
She further emphasises that it is unfortunate that there is no winner and says her fight remains to ensure she can serve the community.
“I haven’t spoken with IPC, and they haven’t given out any statements yet. This came from the attorney general’s office saying that I cannot be kept out of office while IPC is still doing their investigation. They cannot keep me out of my council duties.”
Howard-Smith stated that IPC gave her the vehicle to serve her community.
“I don’t ask the question when somebody walks into my door, and I don’t ask them what party they belong to. I ask them about their needs. So I try best as possible to meet their needs.” This is a public office, and it’s not a party office,” she said.
A month after the party summoned her to a disciplinary hearing in Windhoek, the IPC councillor dragged the party to court to have her suspension nullified and declared void. This resulted in her winning the case against the party.
When contacted by The Villager for a comment, IPC spokesperson Imms Nashinge said, “A matter in court? Her matter is at ‘bar’. We can’t comment for now.”