…Accuses Mayor of Taking Council Discussions to Bars
By: Justicia Shipena
Just days after four IPC Windhoek councillors were booted out of the management committee following a motion of no confidence by AR councillor IIse Keister, IPC’s Omuthiya councillors Petrina Shiindi has moved a vote of no confidence in the council’s chairperson Johanness Ndeutepo.
In the motion, Shiindi expressed her lack of confidence in Ndeutepo, the town’s mayor.
According to her, the motion is based on procuring an unbudgeted 4 914K backhoe loader and caterpillar equipment purchased by the council at N$4 million.
She argued that Ndeutepo makes decisions concerning the finances of the council without even consulting the management committee.
In this light, she said, he violates section 26 (1) (d) of the local authority act.
“The quotation and specification sheet from Barloworld dated 14 March 2022 bears his name. It was directly addressed to him and made referrals to his (the mayor’s) discussion with Barloworld’s sales team. This violates code 5 (1) of the code of conduct,” she said.
Shiindi said the procurement process used looks dubious, adding that the procurement committee failed to answer why a direct procurement method was preferred.
“Honourable Ndeutepo resolved to appoint Barloworld as the supplier.”
In the motion, she also says the town council has seven members but is being governed by Ndeutepo only, who she claims is imposing his decisions on the council for formality.
“Ndeutepo disregards the governing laws. He is leading this council using his own rules. I wrote him a letter last year (10 September 2021) reminding him of article 1 of the Supreme law, (the Rule of Law), the letter that he ignored,” she adds.
Shiindi further said council meetings are held according to the availability of Ndeutepo, and council members only receive notices of meeting postponements, even when most council members are available.
According to Shindi, on 16 June 2022, Ndeutepo tried to impose Frans Enkali on the council.
“He is on record saying that he already consulted Mr Enkali and that Mr Enkali confirmed his availability for the “temporal” position of the CEO. When a question was posed to him if he is aware that Mr Enkali has a responsibility at Ondonga Traditional Authority, he (the mayor) said during his consultations, Mr Enkali assured him that the King permitted him to come assist at Town Council. A decision was made outside Council for Council, and it was later brought to council for councillors to rubber-stamp it.”
Last month, the town council faced a lawsuit relating to Intellectual Property.
This comes after an aspirant host of the Othithiya Festival, Samuel Shinedima, through his lawyers, Salmon Kanyemba Legal Practitioners, demanded answers on why the town council copied an idea he had initially presented to them [council] on 16 July 2019.
“Honourable Ndeutepo appointed Jacobs Amupolo lawyers and conveyancers without council’s knowledge/resolution. Honourable Ndeutepo lied that the management committee resolved to appoint/seek a lawyer, and I am sure the lawyer did not do charity work. There must be fees involved,” said Shindi.
She added that on 29 March 2022, the town’s finance department submitted to the council expressing their concerns on the unnecessary and uneconomically travelling, which resulted in the council recording the highest payment on S&T allowance expenses ever.
“The mayor took a two weeks trip to Windhoek for consultative meetings to offices such as NQA and NSFAF. How relevant such meetings are to the council, only honourable Ndeutepo knows. Omuthiya Town has no institutions of higher learning as of yet.”
She also claims that service delivery to the mayor is not a priority, stating that the the leadership style of Ndeutepo is not inclusive and that his (Ndeutepo)’s discriminatory leadership is causing division among staff members.
MAYOR TAKES COUNCIL MATTERS TO BARS
Furthermore, Shiindi said Ndeutepo disregards the code, and some staff members are now his drinking mates, which according to her, resulted in some council decisions being made and discussed in bars.
“On the contrary, the mayor absorbed the council’s powers upon himself. He has made himself the CEO and the council. On numerous occasions, he has acted on behalf of the council when the council has not mandated him; where the powers lie surely with the council, he has taken them upon himself, and he has relentlessly violated section 14 (5) of the local authority act,” said Shiindi.
Moreover, she said the mayor broke his oath of office, and when it comes to issues of the law, stating that he does not care about the law.
“He cares about what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.”
She reiterated that the motion should not be about political parties and who tabled the motion.
“Let us use our conscience as we engage in this important debate. I hope we will put our political differences aside and do what is right for the people who elected us, as well as what is in the council’s best interest.”
In March, Shindi also moved a vote of no confidence in the council’s management committee, stating that it is not complying with the local authorities’ act.
This motion was then dismissed, and Shiindi claimed Ndeutepo unprocedural dismissed it.
“I should remind this house that the first motion of no confidence that I submitted, a motion dismissed unprocedural by honourable Ndeutepo, was not just a mere motion but a move that made a positive impact,” Shiindi said.
She added that her motion against the committee was a great lesson to the members.
“They now understand their duties, functions and responsibilities a little bit, and I mean you have seen them attempting to report to council as expected of them (read rule 21 (1) of the standing rules), something that was an alien to them.”
Previously, she also said the management committee failed to execute pressing issues in the town urgently. Land disputes were the main bone of contention, as the council had resolved in April 2021.
She further said all MC members are at a novice level of English proficiency. At that time, she had also aired that the members sign Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) without a sound understanding of what they are signing.