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By: Andrew Kathindi

The officially opposition PDM and LPM have lashed out at each other over the//Karas region management.

PDM on Wednesday noted that it was deeply concerned about the status of governance in the //Karas region.

According to PDM, the composition of the management committee at the //Karas regional council hangs in the balance after the alleged irregularities in the election of the members.

This comes as LPM approached the courts to reverse the National Council (NC) chairperson’s decision to bar its two //Karas regional councillors.

Last year, LPM second-in-charge Henny Seibeb also accused Swapo of attempting to purposefully disrupt progress after two Swapo regional councillors from the region refused to join the management council of the regional council LPM has four seats.

PDM further raised concerns over Keetmashoop municipality, which the party says does not have a management committee because of a lack of quorum after LPM withdrew three of its councillors in the space of one month.

LPM withdrew three of its councillors at the Keetmashoop municipality, including mayor Mare Smit over cutting residents’ water over debt.

“PDM is gravely concerned about these developments as they act as a great impediment to service delivery. We urge LPM and Swapo to get their house in order in //Karas region and start delivering the mandate they promised to the people of the region.”

PDM’s secretary-general, Manuel Ngaringombe, told The Villager the party’s concerns were serious.

“Since the inception of the //Karas regional council for the 2020-2025 term, we all know there’s a serious disagreement between the ruling party Swapo and LPM, which is the ruling party of the region. They could not come together and form a functional management committee.”

According to Ngaringombe, every decision taken in the region is taken by the management committee for the region’s people. If the MC can’t be established because of differences of opinion between LPM and Swapo, that will give problems to the management, especially the region’s development.

“That is our problem, and we want to request the //Karas regional council to solve their differences between the two parties amicably, LPM and Swapo, have a functional council and start to serve the people of the //Karas region,” he said.

On Keetmashoop, the PDM SG also said, “When you chop heads and suspend all the time, then you will sit with a council fighting internal matters and not serving the people of the town. We are calling on all those in the //Karas region who are supposed to be serving the people to stop the in-house fights and start development in the region.”

PDM is present in three municipalities within the //Karas region: Berseba, Aroab and Tses village councils, with one councillor each. In Aroab and Tses village councils, PDM has coalition agreements with LPM while it has a coalition with Swapo in Berseba.

The party does not have any leadership presence in the region’s regional councillor in the Keetmashoop municipality.

Ngaringombe said that while the party has not had any squabbles with either party in those coalitions, he said the party would conduct impact assessments on how the larger scale battles between LPM and Swapo have affected where they are present.

LPM responds

LPM spokesperson Eneas Emvula said the official opposition had no jurisdiction within the region to make these comments.

“They play no part in governance in the region. What they should prioritize rather is the delivery of promises in areas where they have been elected, primarily Kunene region.”

He said that there had been little progress in regions where PDM has been dominant over the years since independence when the party was previously called DTA.

“We are not at the level where they think we are of kindergarten politics. It’s high time they wake up and realize politics aren’t the same as they were decades ago or before LPM came into existence.”

He said PDM’s comments were outrageous, and the party did not understand the summary of events they were speaking on.

“They are not governing a region. For us to be governing a region such as //Karas, and Hardap on top of that shows that the people did not need to put PDM in that position of trust.”

He said the issue of the management of the //Karas regional council was before the courts, and he could not delve into it.

On PDM’s comments regarding Keetsmashoop withdrawal of councillors, he said, “if only PDM would understand what governance is all about and also holding councillors accountable, then maybe we could talk. They should concentrate on their manifesto as the official opposition party in the areas where they are elected people. There are highly disgruntled by their continuous incompetence.”

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