LPM to face High Court challenge over recall

Maria Hamutenya

The Landless People Movement (LPM) is set to be dragged before the High Court by two former Mariental town councillors, Daniel Gariseb and Rogetta Haak.

This is after their calls to be reinstated by the opposition party went in vein. The former councillors, through their lawyer, Richard Metcalfe, on Thursday demanded to be reinstated by the party or they will drag the party to court and report them to the Anti-Corruption Commission for corruption.

“We gave them till the end of business day on Thursday and until now, we have not received any response from LPM, so we will go and review this matter at the High Court,” said Metcalfe

He said the two LPM members had been denied a proper disciplinary hearing by the party before it recalled them from their position in the Mariental municipality.

“When somebody makes a decision that is not consistent with the law and denies you your administrative rights in terms of article 18 of the Namibian constitution, which guarantees administrative fairness, one goes to the High Court and the court will grant you relief that you were not accorded your rights,” Metcalfe responded.

LPM Secretary-General, Edson Isaack, said that there was a process that was involved in recalling the members, without specifying the details.

“We take our mandate very seriously for which we have been mandated by our electorate, therefore based on that due diligence were done for the last three months and that did not work. There was no coercion in the caucus,” said Isaack.

On whether the party will consider reinstating the two members, Isaack said, “The two will seize to be councillors with immediate effect.”

On the corruption allegations made by the two, he said, “Corruption for what? They need to prove it in the court of law that whatever they are saying is true.”

Isaack denied instability in the party, despite LPM leader Bernadus Swartbooi at a recent conference alleging that some of its council members are starting to “have big heads” after they became councillors and the recent resignation of McKay Oswald Losper, an LPM regional coordinator.

“Absolutely not, the organisation has committed itself to act in the event that councillors are not performing their duties as expected and mandated by the elections we are going to act and that’s what we are doing,” he said.

“There is a heighten expectation from the elected to work, alleviate poverty and provide land. Those things are very important and when the caucus does not function properly, there is a need to act to safe guard the mandate as an organisation.”

LPM holds five of the seven seats in the Mariental town council.

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