Staff Writer

THE Landless People’s Movement (LPM) wants the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, to nullify the election of the Chairperson of Management Committee of the Otjiwarongo municipality, Gothard Hoko.

In a strongly worded statement, LPM’s Deputy Leader and Chief Strategist, Henny Seibeb, says the election of Hoko (Swapo) was not procedural as his nomination was not seconded. He also urges the Ministry’s Executive Director, Daniel Nghidinua and Chairperson of the Magistrates’ Commission, Philanda Christiaan, to investigate and nullify “the illegal self-appointed and imposed” Chairperson of Otjiwarongo municipality’s Management Committee.’

Hoko was nominated by Hilde Noreses (Swapo) on 2 December, 2020 but his nomination was not seconded for election as the Management Committee chairperson.
“Any nomination that does not get seconded automatically, falls away by law and fact. A new nomination was supposed to have been affected. That never happened,” says Seibeb.

“This, therefore, means Gothard Hoko is illegally serving as the Chairperson of Otiiwarongo Municipality Management Committee and that all the meetings he has presided over are illegal, invalid, and has in fact no basis in law, and that all Management Committee meetings decisions must be declared null and void.”

Seibeb says this has serious implications for service delivery in Otjiwarongo and surrounding areas. “lt makes one wonder how often Swapo officials and politicians, have in the past been transgressing provisions of various laws, without any consequence of the wrongs committed. No wonder that Otjiwarongo Local Authority has fallen from being one of the well-run municipalities in Namibia.”

Otjiwarongo municipality is run by a seven-member council in which Swapo has four seats and one seat each went to Independent Patriots of Change (IPC), the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and the LPM.

Seibeb hits out at Uutoni and Philanda Christiaan saying they are on a political crusade against LPM in the //Kharas region, where they lost a case in the High Court challenging LPM councillors.

Seibeb says the Minister is not willing to work with local authorities controlled by the LPM has and other opposition parties by virtue of such parties having the majority of the members on such authorities.

He cites the case of Lüderitz where Uutoni and the Chief Magistrate declared the Lüderitz Municipality Management Committee illegal.

ln that instance an additional councillor was sworn in as a member of Management Committee, and for almost six months the council could not function as the matter was being corrected through a court process.