CEO divides Swapo council in Grootfontein

Obrein Simasiku

Dust refuses to settle in Grootfontein, as another faction in support of the town mayor, Talitha Garises, has come to her defence.
The group says the mayor should be left alone to focus on her works to address problems at the beleaguered council.
“Hands off the Mayor, as she is trying her level best to clean Grootfontein once and for all. She needs to be accorded all the blessings, our inputs and support as well as good working relationship from her fellow Councilors and rest of the Municipality staff to carry out her mandate in the best interest of our town,” stressed the residents in a petition handed to council last week.
“We are here today to assure the Mayor that the community of Grootfontein is fully behind her and we trust that she will uproot corruption, maladministration, nepotism, favouritism and tribalism which are being practiced by some others at this Institution.”
Relations went sour at the municipality characterised by infighting among local authority councilors, in addition to the burning issue of the Chief Executive Officer, Kisco Sinvula, who is under fire and facing an avalanche of charges. Sinvula was suspended earlier this year and later reinstated, although he operates from home.
Among the charges he faces range from allegations of insubordination, abuse of power, violations of the Local Authorities Act of 1992, violations of the Procurement Act, corruption, forgery, misleading and misrepresentation of facts, negligent trading, utterances, and violations of labour law, racketeering and the misuse of public funds.
On the other hand, Talitha Garises who is serving on a Swapo ticket, does not see eye-to-eye with her fellow comrades. Garises took over from her Swapo councillor Lovisa Iyambo in a fierce contest.
This difference further deepened the rift within council, and as it stands Garises does not enjoy the support of party (Swapo) which had suspended her twice since December 2021. The mayor is being accused of conniving with opposition parties, as opposed to advancing Swapo’s agenda.
“She never complained when her name was twisted as a chairperson of the management committee with that of her fellow Swapo Party member councilors in 2020 and only had to be sworn in as a member of the Management Committee. Today the Council does not even have a Deputy Mayor, a testimony to the fact that some councilors are only interested in key positions where their interest will be of benefit. Should anyone be recalled, it should be from those councilors, who today do not respect the authority of the Mayor and the Acting CEO,” countered the residents in support of Garises.
“We trust and believe that allegations levelled against the suspended CEO from the lawyers are at an advanced stage and very soon all the needed processes will be followed for this matter to be put to rest for good.”

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