OKAHANDJA - Frederick Shimanda, a councillor at the Okahandja Town Council has decided to come out against negative activities in the beleaguered council that he says are tearing down the town.
Frederick Shimanda, a UDF councillor this week said he can no longer remain silent while things are deteriorating at the town.
He said that after numerous attempts by some councillors to get an audience with the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, to discuss problems with the way the town is managed, he has now decided to use the media in the hope of getting some answers.
He said the deputy mayor, Paulina Kuyandeka, wrote several letters to the minister to invite him to the town to discuss the problems that Okahandja is facing, but nothing has come of that.
He says Ekandjo prefers to send messages through the chairperson of the town council’s management committee, Valery Aron.
Shimanda said even when they complained about the way the new CEO, Frans Enkali, was appointed, Aron apparently said Ekandjo himself compiled the short-list for the position.
“I questioned what the purpose of the councillors are if the minister has to do the short-listing himself,” he said.
The UDF councillor said a few weeks ago, Okahandja mayor David Uri-khob chased him and Kuyandeka out of a council meeting for daring to ask why seating arrangements were changed.
Shimanda said Aron was apparently sitting in the deputy mayor’s seat, next to Uri-khob and former acting CEO Ripanda Meroro, while she normally sat at some lower desk. He said when he asked what was going on, the mayor told him to “shut up”.
“I told him I won’t shut up because I am not a dog,” said the councillor, adding that when they attended an induction course a few weeks before the council meeting, they were taught about procedures and sitting arrangements in a council meeting.
This, he said, is what prompted him to ask why Aron was sitting in a place usually reserved for the deputy mayor, where she has been sitting all the years.
Shimanda said the deputy mayor apparently also asked why some councillors were doing things as they wished, leading to both of them being ordered to leave the meeting.
He said some councillors were against her, because Kuyandeka, who is a Swapo Party councillor, speaks her mind when things are done wrongly.
“They say she works with the opposition and also accused her of going to the newspapers,” he added.
Shimanda said he does not fear anything and would rather sit at home than “scam” the municipality and the people of Okahandja. He questioned why Aron is “everything” at the municipality and why everyone else keeps quiet about it.
The councillor alleged that Aron was also building a house in a restricted area behind the park when Okahandja has only two parks, adding that a portion of the park was parceled out to become part of Aron’s erf.
“Who says she is not using municipal resources if part of the lawn and palm trees are now in her yard?” he wanted to know.
Shimanda says he is heartbroken about what the town of Okahandja is having to go through – calling it “mud”, while councillors are fighting for self-enrichment. He says no community meetings are held any longer and Okahandja is not developing, while the town is filthy while the councillors are on constant overseas trips.
“Okahandja has so many problems, but the minister drives by to go and solve Omaruru’s problems. Doesn’t he read about our problems?” he asked.
Approached for comment about the construction of her house, Aron said all councilors are building houses and that the place where she is building was never a restricted area. Aron remains adamant that she has followed the town plan and did nothing wrong.
According to Aron, during the council meeting Shimanda is referring to, the deputy mayor walked out of the council meeting in solidarity with the UDF councillor even when she was told what the correct procedures were. Aron said that the two were misbehaving and disrespecting the mayor.