Suspended Omaruru councillors angry at Namoloh

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By Magreth Nunuhe

WINDHOEK – Two suspended councillors of Omaruru claim that the Minister of Regional, Local Government and Housing, General Charles Namoloh is playing delaying tactics not to reinstate them after since they were suspended without pay one year and two months ago.

The suspended duo, mayor of Omaruru Vincent Kahua and deputy mayor Albertus !Naruseb say that there has been no charges, forensic report, recommendations from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) or response by Namoloh about their situation.

Last year November, the suspended councillors together with their supporters took to the streets of Omaruru to defy the suspensions, which emanated from alleged mismanagement of funds, self-enrichment and defying the minister’s several orders including the ban on oversea trips.

“This issue is politically motivated. The Okahandja allegations started in 2011 when the Mayor of Okahandja (Valerie Aron) built a house on the park,” said !Naruseb, adding that instead the ministry’s investigation team drove past Okahandja and found it fit to come suspend the Omaruru councillors.

!Naruseb said that he found it peculiar that Okahandja residents were demonstrating for the removal of their councillors while in Omaruru, the residents are marching for the re-instatement of their councillors, asking which council has more credibility.

Hundreds of residents marched to the Okahandja municipality premises last week, demanding that the whole council and heads of municipal departments be sacked as they have been allegedly ‘stealing’ from the community unabatedly by selling land to those they favour.

The suspended Omaruru mayor said they tried to make an appointment with the minister but the appointment was apparently not granted because the Namoloh is “busy” and they have to request a meeting through a letter before he can avail time.

!Naruseb said that last year they wrote a letter, on 16 April, and only received responses from the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) which said that it was waiting for a forensic report while the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) apparently referred them back to the ministry of local government.

“The Act is clear (about) what must be done and by whom,” he added, saying that some powers had nothing to do with the minister in the first place, referring to what led to the suspension.

!Naruseb said that since their suspension, everything has been standing still in the town, including deeds of sale that cannot be concluded because there is no council.

“In 2013, Omaruru received an award as cleanest town, now it is worse than Okahandja,” said Kahua, reckoning that if Namoloh took over the powers of the town, why does his Ministry not do the duties of the council.

The duo wants President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Prime Minister Hage Geingob to intervene in the matter speedily.
Seven councillors were suspended without pay by Namoloh on 16 December 2013 after they allegedly failed to implement recommendations from his office.

Namoloh did not want to comment on the issues around Okahandja and Omaruru and hinted that he would soon convene a press to address the matter.

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