Council Debts: No Sacred Cows Please!

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Editor

THE NAMIBIA Paralegal Association deemed it necessary to publicly denounce the selfishness, unacceptable double standards, that some of our country’s top politicians are practicing at the expense of the poor.

The weekly media recently reported that prominent politicians and high-ranking officials owe more then five hundred thousands of debts in water and electricity to the City of Windhoek.

We believe that this type of behaviour is devoid of any ethics and our leaders should lead by example.

As a civil organisation fighting for access to justice to those with least access, we are very disturbed that the Council has allowed politicians and high-ranking officials to accumulate these huge debts in water and electricity bills without any action being taken against the culprits, until recently when exposed.

Many poor residents in Windhoek as well as towns such as Ongwediva have lost their properties because they owed the Council in water, electricity and rates and taxes.

It is disheartening to see that the rich are treated with velvet gloves, whilst a heavy-handed approach is applied to the poor and marginalised in this country.

We are also very disturbed about the procedures of the Debt Management policy and question the rationale applied by the City of Windhoek in this very specific case.

Alternatively, do they have a different Debt Management policy for politicians and high-ranking officials other than what they have been applying to the marginalised and the poor?

Our Namibian constitution prohibits discrimination of any nature, it further states that all people are equal before the law and the very law requires people to be treated equally, but what has happened is quite the opposite at the City of Windhoek.

Marginalised and the poor are residing in the mountains north of the City of Windhoek, without access to water, electricity, sanitation and proper shelter over their head. They have become victims of snakebites, with the reason apparently being that there are not enough funds to service these areas.
This is pure injustice to the people, as politicians and high-ranking officials owe the money supposed to have been used for such services in debts in thousands.

How long will this be allowed to continue in our beautiful country, while the majorities of our electorate (people) are living in abject poverty? The Councilors should be reminded that they serve because of the very electorates they are neglecting.

We therefore appeal to the office of the President, Anti-Corruption Commission and the office of the Ombudsman to investigate as a matter of urgency these very politicians and high-ranking officials who deliberately ignored their obligatory duties by not paying for services rendered to them by the City of Windhoek and perhaps elsewhere.

Similarly, we humbly request this institution to cross check if there are more
culprits that have not yet (been) identified and be brought to
book as a matter of urgency.

Otherwise, how can we sing Zero Tolerance to corruption on a daily basis and allow this situation to continue? We demand that those who contravened the Anti Corruption Act should face the music.

This is a clear-cut issue and it should not be politicised, that this expose was politically motivated unless their debts as City of Windhoek were also politically motivated when allowed to accumulate to such an extent?

If this is the case, we demand immediate resignation of the Chief Executive Officer and the Mayor of the City of Windhoek – who also owes the very institution under his supervision – urgently for having failed to implement the Debt Management policy they have put in place and only applied to marginalise and poor residents.

In conclusion, the Namibia Paralegal Association would like to extend our profound gratitude to the weekly newspaper for having exposed this corrupt, immoral, dubious and self-centered practice by our so-called leaders. How can one lead by this example? With this kind of leadership style our Continent (Africa) will never, never develop to become economically independent.

Victor D.
Hamunyela
National President
N.P.A.
Cell: 0811224049

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