Wakudumo refutes allegations made by Kavango East Regional Council

Martin Endjala

Bonifatius Wakudumo, the Governor of the Kavango East Region, has strongly denied allegations brought against him by the Kavango East regional council, stating that they are false and lack any basis in truth.

Wakudumo addressed these allegations last week in response to a recent article published by the Windhoek Observer on social media platforms, titled “Governor banned from attending council meetings.”

In a letter dated December 28, 2023, which has been seen by this publication, a council meeting was held during which council members wrote to President Hage Geingob.

In the letter, they collectively decided to bar the Governor from attending council meetings until an amicable solution is reached, calling upon the head of state to intervene in the matter.

The allegations against Wakudumo included claims of bulldozing council members, defying council resolutions during meetings, causing division in the community, and conducting visitation programs in the region without informing the council.

However, Wakudumo explained that his attendance at council meetings as the Governor is governed by the Regional Council Act 22 of 1992, Section 11 Subsection 8.

This section permits him to attend council meetings, participate in the management committee, and partake in deliberations despite having no voting rights at such meetings.

“This has been the basis for my attendance and participation in deliberations at council meetings. I’m not sure how a non-voting member could act in an authoritarian manner when he is unable to vote on matters discussed. Therefore, I can’t bulldoze council members and defy council meeting resolutions as a non-voting member,” Wakudumo said.

The Governor reiterated that he understands his mandate, which is why his participation and deliberation at council meetings have focused on providing guidance where necessary and when requested.

Regarding allegations that he failed to inform the council about his visitation programs in the region, Wakudumo refuted such claims, explaining that he always notifies the council before conducting such visits. He normally sends a letter from his office to the regional council through its Chief Regional Office, informing them of his intention to engage with the communities.

He noted that all six constituencies in the region have responded positively to his visits, with the Mukwe constituency being the first on his itinerary, and the remaining five visits will be concluded within the current year.

Furthermore, Wakudumo denied shifting any blame onto Mukwe constituency Councillor Damian Maghambayi during his community engagement. He clarified that his purpose was to listen to their concerns, familiarize himself with community issues, and direct them to relevant stakeholders in terms of service delivery.

Wakudumo expressed his belief that the leadership of the Mukwe constituency is reacting strongly out of fear that community members might have shared information that could cast the councillor’s office in a negative light, especially when the councillor was absent despite efforts to notify him.

The Governor also categorically denied entering into any agreement with the Cuando Cubango Province of the Republic of Angola on behalf of the Kavango East region, asserting that he has no such mandate.

He requested the council to provide evidence of such an agreement and emphasized that such agreements should be carried out through the appropriate governmental channels.

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