The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has called on the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Mr Erastus Uutoni to rectify the situation at Otjiwarongo Local Authority Council where the chairperson of the Management Committee is said to have been appointed to the position without anyone having seconded the nomination.

According to the Local Authority Act, a chairperson of the Management Committee is appointed by members of the committee from among themselves by one member nominating one of them and another member seconding the nomination, before the presiding official would approve the appointment and then confirm the appointment.

According to a document produced by LPM it shows that Mr Gothard Hoko was on 2 December 2020 nominated by fellow Swapo councillor Ms Hilde !Noreses to be chairperson of the town’s Management Committee, but no one seconded the nomination.

Yet the town’s Mayor Gotlieb Shivute who presided over the proceedings went ahead to confirm the appointment by signing the document.

“Any nomination that does not obtain a secondment automatically falls away by the law and fact,” LPM’s leader Mr Henny Seibeb said in a statement.

“A new nomination is supposed to have been effected. That never happened. This therefore, means that Gothard Hoko is illegally serving as the chairperson of Otjiwarongo Municipality Management Committee and that all the meetings he has presided over have been illegal, invalid, and have in fact no basis in law, and that all management committee meetings decisions must be declared null and void.”

Seibeb further stated that the “self-appointed and imposed” chairperson of Otjiwarongo Municipality’s Management Committee’s continued stay in office has “serious implications for service delivery in Otjiwarongo and surrounding areas.

“It makes one wonder how often the SWAPO officials and politicians have in the past been transgressing provisions of various laws, without any consequence of wrongs committed. No wonder that Otjiwarongo Local Authority has fallen from an earlier position of one of the well-run municipalities in Namibia.”

The LPM leader further accused the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Mr Erastus Uutoni of being on a “political witch-hunt, unwilling to work with local authorities won by LPM and others, and is always attempting, albeit failing, in his nefarious sabotage and belligerent actions of subterfuge.”

Seibeb said that Uutoni and the Chief Magistrate declared Luderitz Municipality Management Committee illegal after they found themselves in the similar situation as that of Otjiwarongo municipality.

“In that instance one additional councillor was sworn in as a member of the Management Committee, and for almost six months the council could not function as the matter had to be corrected through a court process, as per Windhoek directives.

“In both instances, where it concerns opposition controlled municipalities, the Minister and Chief Magistrate are quick to act to ‘correct’ so-called errors but when it concerns SWAPO, they ignore the evidence and act as if no irregularities exist. Such double standard must be shunned and rejected.”

In the photo: The leadership of Otjiwarongo, with Mr Hoko seated on the extreme right.