Councillors for both the regional and local authorities in the Zambezi were sworn in this week following the recent elections. The councillors – mostly Swapo members – were sworn in on Friday by Magistrate Nomsa Sibanda for eight constituencies of the Zambezi, including Katima Mulilo Town Council and Bukalo Village Council (BVC).
Cletius Sipapela (Linyanti), Warden Simushi (Katima Rural), David Muluti (Kongola), Bernard Sibalatani (Katima Urban) and Ignatius Chunga (Sibbinda) all retained their positions, while the two new constituencies of Judea Lyabolloma and Kabbe North now have Beaven Munali and Peter Mwala as their new councillors, respectively. Another new constituency councillor, former Katima Mulilo mayor John Likando, is back to lead the recently divided Kabbe South.
Former conservationist Beaven Munali was elected as chairperson of the Zambezi Regional Council, thus replacing ousted Kabbe Constituency Councillor Raphael Mbala. Mwala and Muluti were elected as additional members of the regional council management committee. Likando, Sipapela and Sibalatani are to serve as the region’s representatives in the National Council.
Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu, who witnessed the swearing-in, urged councillors to refrain from divisive tendencies and to commit themselves to uplifting the communities they lead. “You have taken an oath to uphold the Namibian people, without any form of prejudice. You must, therefore, refrain from discrimination or tribalism of any kind. Poverty eradication should start with councillors,” Sampofu advised.
Katima Town Council saw the swopping of positions between former deputy mayor Georgina Mwiya Simataa and former mayor Charles Matengu. The new chairperson of the management committee is Swapo newcomer, Lister Shamalaza, who will be deputised by Esther Sankwasa. Nsala Muhongo Mapenzi, another Swapo member on the council, was also elected as a member of the management committee.
Salubila Maswahu, the former chairperson of the management committee, was relegated to an ordinary member of council, quite possibly because residents complained that he had accumulated too many plots.
Lascan Sikosi of the DTA of Namibia is the only member of Katima Town Council from the opposition ranks, a position formerly held by the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)’s, Robert Matongela.
Youth activist Charles Siyauya has meanwhile replaced the former chairperson of the council, Louis Matomola, at the Bukalo Village Council, with Matomola becoming an ordinary member. Siyauya is deputised by Candy Namatama. The other members are all from the Swapo Party, including Agnes Simasiku and Margret Mafwila.