By: Kelvin Chiringa
Two more councillors have been recalled at the Keetmanshoop municipality for failing to follow party orders soon after the party got rid of its former mayor, Maree Smit.
At the centre of the purge is the accusation that councillors in the south fail to adhere to the party’s instruction to desist from cutting water on owing residents.
The party wants them to focus on government ministries and agencies whose debts run into hundreds of thousands of Namibian dollars.
The latest councillors to fall are Sydney Skakana and Willie Kisting.
The party’s national spokesperson Eneas Emvula has said that it seems that some of their councillors were in cahoots with the Swapo affiliated Chief Executive Officer.
Swartbooi has said that the Teachers Resource Training Centre (ministry of education) owed N$3.2 million, the University of Namibia N$557 000, the RCC N$529 000, Customs (finance ministry) N$451 000, TransNamib N$377 000, the works ministry N$272 000, veteran affairs N$268 000 and so on.
“Why is Swapo not paying?” he queried.
The party’s position to withhold the cutting of water on residents comes amidst an anticipated dry period at the urban and rural development ministry due to a budget cut, impacting local authorities and municipalities.
“Please note the ministry was advised by the National Planning Commission (NPC) that priority should be given to ongoing projects with active activities, of which the tender was awarded and signed, as well as projects with contractual obligations,” the ministry’s Executive Director Daniel Nghidinua is on record saying.
The cut was said to be due to the effects of the Covid pandemic.
Smit last year revealed that pensioners owed the municipality about N$6,8 million.
Smit is also on record saying that the pensioners’ debt stood at N$6 794 130,23 by the end of October this year in 2021.
“Council obtained a list of registered pensioners from the ministry of labour and a list of deceased pensioners from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security that will be used during the verification processes,” Smit is quoted as saying.
The same pensioners are the ones whose vote sailed the LPM to power in the south, effectively kicking out the Swapo party’s political dominance.
The party’s strict stance on its councillors is thus seen in the light of sticking to its election promises to residents.
Said party spokesperson Eneas Emvula, “The people elect the councillors. What we have as a party put together as an election manifesto is something that we have to live by. As you might have learnt over the past month, there have been issues at that town council.”
“First of all, we never condoned the water cuts and instructed the council to look into that matter. There are also land-related issues, amongst others. We cannot run things as if it is normal and similar to how the previous council conducted itself,” he said.