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Special “No Confidence” Council Meeting Goes Ahead…MC Threatens Legal Action

By: Justicia Shipena

Former Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda has confirmed that the City of Windhoek council convened a special council meeting to consider the motion of no confidence against the management committee on Friday.

“Four members of management committee (sic) presented their case to council in line with Rule 19 (4). One of the members asked for more time and was given 5 days. We continue on 22 August! We will restore order and integrity at the City of Windhoek over the coming weeks. Ignore imbedded propaganda that seek to imply that there is permanent chaos,” he said.

This comes as the chairperson of said management committee Ndeshihafela Larandja has opposed a motion of no confidence against the MC, which Affirmative Repositioning (AR) councillor IIse Keister brought before council on Wednesday.

The motion signed by Keister in July stated that the current management committee has performed poorly and does not inspire confidence in both council and the residents.

Larandja leads the committee, with three other IPC councillors – Jürgen Hecht, Bernardus Araeb, and Ottilie Saarty Uukule, with LPM’s Ivan Skrywer completing the unit.

She has called on the council to seek a legal opinion on the basis of Keister’s motion before it can be discussed, arguing that the matter is a “trial by ambush.” She further threatened to seek an urgent application in the High Court if council did not refer the matter for a legal opinion.

According to Larandja, a council or committee member must give notice under the heading of every motion they wish to introduce, adding that the notice must contain the proper motivation of the motion and be signed by the member.

“A council member wishing to move a motion is peremptorily obliged to ensure that such motion is appropriately motivated and thus substantiated factually,” she said.

In her opposing document, Larandja said Keister’s argument in motion about poor performance is not clear.

“It is not clear in clause three of the motion what is referred to as “is performed poorly”. Who is specifically referred to, the management committee or members of the management committee?” she questioned.

She added that Keister does not provide objective evidence upon which the member relies to make the allegation of poor performance.

She also argues that the AR councillor does not state what specific conduct does not “inspire confidence” in the council and residents of the City of Windhoek while stressing that the mover has not specified resolutions allegedly ‘deliberately ignored.

In her motion tabled to the council, Keister had said her vote of no confidence was motivated by the management committee that deliberately ignores resolutions, and when councillors request answers, there is hardly any answer.

“The second sentence of clause 3.1 of the motion makes reference to the absence of answers from members of MC, the mover does not specify, time, date, day, a specific member of MC concerned, and incidence at which any of such questions had been asked by a specific member of the council as alleged, nor provide minutes of council meetings at which such alleged questions were asked and by whom, if at all such is veracious,” said Larandja.

In this vein, she said Keister is relying on the unsubstantiated baseless subjective allegations.

Larandja also argued that in sections 21 and 22 of the local authority act, management committee members are elected, notwithstanding political party affiliation, by a properly constituted council from amongst its legitimate members.

According to Keister, 99 per cent of the current management committee is dominated by members from the same political party, and the members have not shown the ability to lead coherently and objectively.

Keister pointed out that 99 per cent of the management committee members are under restrictions on how they will preside over specific matters.

Keister also said that the recent conduct of the management committee has shown that it cannot be trusted to act objectively and fairly in exercising its powers.

“The mover thus disagrees with parliament, which is the creature of this very council. Nowhere has parliament authorised the election of members of the management committee to come from one political party. Further, it is not the doing of that alleged political party to compose such a management committee,” said the committee chair.

Larandja also labelled Keister’s motion as ‘politically motivated.

“It is also clear from the motion wording that this motion appears to be politically motivated and has been filed with mala fide intent,” adding that Keister’s allegations are purely subjective hearsay.

In this light, Larandja called on Keister to provide evidence of the allegations and that she (Keister) did not direct her motion to a specific committee member.

“It is thus not possible for any management committee member to respond to allegations not specifically levelled against them,” she said.

She claims that Keister’s motion is properly motivated and that the motion requires this council to refer this matter to the management committee for its deliberation and, as necessary, seek a legal opinion.

“Should council not be persuaded to refer this matter for a legal opinion, I shall have no option but to seek an urgent application to the High Court interpretation, preferably (ex parte) for the interpretation of the law.”

Furthermore, she concluded that no right to legal representation was afforded to management committee members facing a vote of no confidence.

Keister, in the motion, said a new management committee must be elected to ensure that council resolutions are implemented as envisaged by section 26 of the act and restore the residents’ trust and confidence.

The tabled motion had urban and rural development deputy minister Natalia Goagoses stating that a council cannot be run without a management committee.

Last month, suspended AR spokesperson Simon Amunime and head of elections Paulus Paulus Kathanga distanced the movement from the no-confidence vote.

They said the AR movement did not sanction any vote of no confidence in the City of Windhoek.

 

Justicia Shipena

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