The City of Windhoek (CoW) councilors have managed to catapult NUDO’ Joseph Uapingene to the position of mayor deputised by Swapo’s Magdalena Lombardt.
This was, however, after a dramatic pulling out of the nominations list by several other candidates.
The presiding officer was at a loss after councilors Ilse Keister, Clemencia Hanases, Sade Gawanas, Dr. Job Amupanda, and Ivan Skrywer all withdrew their nominations for the position of mayor, after a brief break requested by Councilor, Skrywer.
It turned out that the strategy was to endorse the candidature of Uapingene, who now replaces LPM’s former mayor, Gawanas.
However, more drama played out when it came to nominations for the critical Management Committee which saw the Swapo party ultimately dominating after a long time of teetering on the fringes of power.
Swapo’s Fransina Kahungu, a former mayor herself, nominated Swapo’s Sam Nujoma as Swapo’s Austin Kwenani seconded Nujoma’s nomination.
Nujoma then rose to nominate Swapo’s Queen Kamati with Kahungu seconding the nomination.
Kamati rose to nominate Kwenani who got seconded by Lombardt (now deputy mayor).
However, the Swapo party’s attempt to reach out to the opposition in order to complete the structure of the Management Committee hit a brick wall when Kahungu’s nomination of PDM’s Hanases was rejected by the latter.
From here, Nujoma stood up to pick LPM’s Skrywer who again turned down the offer and ultimately the meeting had to be adjourned.
It was clear that the opposition was not ready to enter a committee in which they would be a minority.
The City of Windhoek’s nominations process was also reflective of the deep-seated divide which continues to pit the opposition against the Swapo party and the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC).
The IPC, which once had the levers of power within the MC, this time around were not at the centre of deciding the power structure of the municipality.
In the meantime, the City’s new mayor has the task to unite the councilors and drive the municipal development agenda which for the longest time has been dogged by toxic political intrigues and outright sabotage.
A coalition of parties has also failed to bring about the many promises made during election time and later collapsed under the weight of political backbiting and strong divisions.
This election comes in the wake of the City having failed to install leadership last December as the Swapo party and the IPC staged an unprecedented walk out during elections.
This then prompted deputy urban and rural development minister, Natalia Goagoses, to seriously caution that she would serve the councilors with a 72-hour notice agenda informing them not to walk out of the elections.
With the mayoral position now held by Uapingene, who will have to lead alongside a Swapo functionary, Lombardt, the councilors have another day to decide the fate of the management committee, which needs more candidates to fill in.