Ousted Councillor Cries Foul

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By William J.Mbangula OSHAKATI The former Deputy Mayor of Oshakati Skinny Hilundwa, in a letter addressed to a regional magistrate, termed the recently concluded elections to select office bearers for the Oshakati Town Council as corruption of the highest order. In the letter dated May 15 and addressed to Magistrate Leopold Hangalo, the embittered former councillor accused some elements within the ruling Swapo Party of having doctored the nominations to enhance their own positions in the town council. ” I am not bitter that I lost my seat as deputy mayor because I know perfectly well that the political game is one of winning and losing. However, I am against the manner of secret nominations by those who succeeded to emerge as new office bearers of the Oshakati Town Council,” he said. According to Hilundwa, before the town councillors took their seats on nomination day, a “mysterious note” was circulated to all the councillors except himself in which nomination proposals were made in advance for office bearers. He only learned about the note after the swearing-in ceremony. On his way back home, he got a lift from CoD Councillor Vaino Amuthenu, who alerted him about the existence of the note. Apparently, Councillor Linus Shiimi, who is the current deputy chairperson of the management committee, gave the note to Amuthenu. Hilundwa told the magistrate in his letter that had he been aware of the note before it was circulated, he would not have hesitated to bring it to the attention of the presiding magistrate. “Legally speaking, this nomination was doctored and corrupt manoeuvres used to obtain maximum results in their favour of tribalistic intentions that Aakwambi should be in charge of the Oshakati town because it is in Uukwambi Traditional area. “Is this not promoting tribalism in an independent Namibia?” he queries in the correspondence. Hilundwa, who is presently an ordinary member of the council, further explained that similar incidents of tribalism have been reported in and around the council chambers where attempts are underway to remove the current Chief Executive Officer John Nghihepa and to replace him with Omukwambi-speaking person. He requested the intervention of the magistrate who should probe the following: – Find out from which council office/s the mysterious noted was typed. – Find out where Councillor Linus Shiimi got the copy of the note, which he gave to Councillor Vaino Amuthenu. – Find out why he was not given that note despite being a Swapo councillor and the deputy mayor. – Get a clear-cut answer from Mayor Atshipara since he is answerable for the mysterious note. The note had names on it suggesting certain positions for councillors. In terms of the note, Mayor Atshipara was to be nominated by Katrina Shimbulu who is the current deputy mayor and seconded by Louise Shivolo, and in turn Shimbulu would nominate Atshipara for the position of mayor. This is exactly what happened during the nomination process. Hilundwa is Oshikwanyama speaking, while all the councillors he accuses of tribalism, Mayor Atshipara, Deputy Mayor Shimbulu, Chairperson of the management Committee Angelus Iyambo, his Deputy Shiimi and MC member Louise Shivolo are Oshikwambi speaking. New Era tried in vain to get comment from Atshipara, who could not be reached on his mobile phone. However, the Oshakati Town Council PRO Lot Nehemia denied any knowledge of the note or any corrupt practices used to elect office bearers.