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IPC Withdraws Councillor Arrested For Drugs

Staff Writer

The Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) has now withdrawn its Mariental municipality councilor, Michael Jonas Shekutamba after he landed in police custody over the alleged possession of drugs to the value of N$231 000.

The party’s national general secretary, Christine Esparanza Aochamus, confirmed that IPC axed the councilor before charges were even brought against him, although he was already in police hands.

In a letter dated 7 September 2022, IPC says the withdrawal of Shekutamba is following Section 13(1)(G) of the Local Authorities Act, Act 23 of 1992.

The Act states that a member of a Local Authority Council shall vacate his or her office if he or she is withdrawn by the political party, association, or organisation that nominated him or her for election.

“The IPC party hereby withdraws councilor Shekutamba from representing the party as LA councilor in the municipality of Mariental, effective 07 September 2022. We will communicate the filling of the vacancy in line with the procedure set out in the relevant legislation in due course,” reads the letter to the Mariental Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) Paul Nghiwilepo.

Aochamus, however, was not ready to delve into the alleged criminal charges brought against their now axed councilor.

“Yes, we have withdrawn the councilor in Mariental and we have rules within the party and the decision taken by the leadership was that we withdraw the councilor similar to what we have done with other councilors who have similar cases and arrests prior to Shekutamba. It’s exactly the same principle we are applying.”

“I think the fact that you are calling me is that you are aware that something has happened in Mariental. Shekutamba, I have not spoken to him individually, but the information that we have is that he is in police custody at the moment. We don’t have all the details as to the severity of the offenses or the charges. The criminal justice system will deal with that,” she said.

In the meantime, the Mariental municipal CEO, Nghiwilepo, has confirmed receiving the letter from the IPC.

He said the process of placing a notice in the government gazette of the vacancy in the membership of the local authority council will commence at once.

This, he said, is in accordance with Section 13 (3) of the Local Authorities Act. In the meantime, the police continue to fight an elusive battle with drug peddlers. The police confiscated N$2 035 904 worth of drugs between 1 and 31 August 2022.

The confiscated drug with the highest value was 194 664.4 Kg of cannabis worth N$1 946 644. This was followed by 523 tablets of mandrax valued at N$62 760, 39 grams of cocaine powder worth N$19 500, and 70 units of crack cocaine valued at N$7000.

The drug bust was followed by the arrest of 148 people of which 136 were Namibians, six Angolans, and one Tanzanian, Batswana, Nigerian, South African, and Zambian national.

Staff Writer

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