Walvis Bay councillors told to stay out of Redforce matters

Martin Endjala

The Walvis Bay community requested that three local authority councillors stay out of discussions and meetings regarding Redforce Debt Management (Redforce).

On Tuesday, the residents during a mass protest action presented a petition in which they aired their grievances against the management of the municipality and Redforce.

They said they do not trust Richard Hoaeb, the management committee chairperson, and two committee members, Olivia Andrews and Buddy Bramwell.

“We demand that they recuse themselves from discussions and meetings relating to Redorce until this matter is concluded in a satisfactory manner. We have no confidence in the three councillors,” read the petition.

The residents delivered the petition to the mayor of Walvis Bay, Trevino Forbes, demanding, among other things, that the three councillors step aside.

The mayor confirmed receiving the petition.

“Yes, I have received the petition. However, I will only be able to provide feedback after discussing the petition with the council,” he said.

The concerned group is demanding that the three councillors declare their interest in Redforce and stay away from council business.

They accuse the three councillors of deliberately dodging previous Redforce discussions and meetings.

Due to their absence, the scheduled meetings were postponed.

The community also worries that the reinstated implicated staff members, who are allegedly plotting with the acting CEO of Walvis Bay, will obstruct ongoing investigations.

The finance general manager, Frans !Gonteb and Johanna Shidute, the manager for revenue and credit control, were suspended on 8 May and there are talks that acting CEO, David Uushona wants their suspension to be lifted.

The community reported that they have not received any response to their two previous petitions regarding the same issue.

They argue that the council’s tendency to do this is pure arrogance, disrespect, and rudeness towards the community.

They added that they will no longer tolerate such behaviour or attitude from the council and are demanding a response within the given period of the petition.

“As elected leaders, you should refrain from undermining the plights of the electorates who made it possible for you to occupy those potions,” argued the community.

The community expressed their support for the council’s May resolution, which called for an immediate termination of Redforce’s contract. The termination aimed to provide relief to consumers and eliminate the middleman.

The concerned group argued that a 12% commission charge is not justifiable given that inflation is at 5% and most of the community members are unemployed, pensioners, security guards, and domestic workers.

For the sake of transparency and to provide answers and clarifications for both current and previous issues concerning the subject matter, the community wants the final report on the Redforce saga investigation to be publicly available.

The same Walvis Bay Community group also sent a petition to Redforce chief executive officer Julius Nyamazana, arguing that the debt collector company’s activities in Walvis Bay are unlawful.

They claim that only the municipality and the company drew up an agreement.

They demand an immediate halt to Redforce activities, and if they fail to do so, they threaten to file cases involving its implicated staff with the Namibian Police.

Efforts to contact Nyamazana proved futile, as both text messages and phone calls went unanswered.

Following the council’s abrupt contract termination in May, Redforce approached the High Court and was able to obtain an order prohibiting the municipality from terminating its service contract.

The court ruled that the termination was on short notice, it was a breach of the agreement between the company and the municipality, and it was not engaged in the termination.

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