Ill Feelings over Town Truck

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By Engel Nawatiseb OUTJO Swapo party leaders and activists at Outjo have cautioned against political parties that compromise development successes by misleading communities that other parties have failed to serve the electorate properly. The remarks were made by a Swapo leader who attended the handover ceremony of a fire-fighting truck from Nassjo in Sweden to the Outjo Town Council over the weekend. The concern was raised after identified councillors belonging to the CoD reportedly claimed that the truck was donated to the CoD party after an Outjo town councillor lobbied for the donation from the Swedes during a trip to that country which was organized by the CoD. During the handover, scores of CoD councillors from most parts of the country attended the ceremony, including its secretary general Kalle Gertze to witness the historic event. The Swapo councillors, visibly attending the event in small numbers, told New Era that they felt betrayed by the leadership of the Outjo council who invited them to the ceremony under the pretext that it was a council project. “There was no use of stating that a CoD councillor brought us together at the historic occasion. I wouldn’t have attended if that was the tone of the invitation from the start. The fact that the opposition representatives are in the majority should not be translated into suggesting that the ruling party has failed to lure a truck to the town,” said a Swapo activist. He stressed that the ruling party has achieved a lot in respect of development at Outjo because Government had made major achievements in alleviating the plight of vulnerable people at that town. “This is just one way of opposition politics as they are planning to mislead the electorate in preparation for their election campaign for the future. In fact, it won’t help them much because our people are not ignorant as they think people are. Outjo municipality should put the record straight whether it is a CoD truck or the council’s, we are tired of cheap propaganda because in some circles, it is claimed left, right and centre by irresponsible leaders of the opposition.” When the deputy mayor of the town rose to deliver her “vote of thanks” she stated, “I am Justine /Gomes representing the UDF.”. Her statement too was seen in a bad light by Swapo Party members who contended that councillors should forget about their political affiliations as they are elected to serve the entire community instead of boasting about their affiliation at public forums. “It was really disappointing to see the leaders forgetting about the real purpose of the occasion but preferably promoting their political interest. I was wondering what went through the mind of the Swedish Head of Mission who was invited to deliver the truck to the CoD,” said another Swapo activist. The mayor of Outjo, Isaias Katambo, told New Era that it was wrong to perceive that the fire truck was a “CoD affair” because council embraces all initiatives from all stakeholders, including political parties. “It is ill-advised if the CoD felt that it was their party’s achievement alone – of course we welcome the origin of the lobbying for the truck, there is nothing wrong with that but do not mislead the community. We blatantly refuse to lead our community across tribal or political lines, we must remember that we are one and should be guided by a spirit of co-existence if we want to bring about development,” said Katambo. Before receiving the truck, Katambo stated that the doors of friendship and cooperation with the global world have been opened widely since after independence. “Global communication is of paramount importance because it is only through such communication that we can come to know each other and twin with different towns through cooperation agreements.” Katambo commended the Swedish “friends” for being considerate of the needs of their counterparts in Outjo. Speaking at the same occasion, Swedish ChargÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© d’Af-faires, Lena Johansson Blom-strand, stressed that the truck could be used for many things other than fire-fighting alone. She stated that besides fires, the truck could be used to cut out access to roads, electricity, telephones, in serious traffic accidents, chemical and factory based accidents and floods. The truck has the capacity of pumping 1 600 litres of water per minute with a cistern of 1700 litters. Other guests who spoke at the occassion was the Regional Governor Dudu Murorua for the Kunene and Councillor Nico Theart who lobbied for the truck.

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