Kahungu speaks about her tenure

By Michael Uugwanga

WITH the 2020 local and regional elections around the corner, before Namibians go out in numbers to elect their councillors for the next five years, the Municipality of Windhoek will be amongst those that are expected to have new leaders after the November 25 elections.

It is against this background that Confidente took time to interview City of Windhoek mayor, Fransina Kahungu about her first year in office and the legacy her team is leaving behind.

Kahungu was elected last year after serving as deputy mayor in 2016 and 2017.

Being the mayor of Windhoek is one of the most difficult jobs, however to Kahungu who is serving a population of more than 400 000 inhabitants, it has been an opportunity for her to serve the community in particular those in the informal settlements that are still faced with lots of challenges such as adequate clean water, housing, electricity, unemployment, crime and many other challenges.

“I did not encounter challenges. Serving as the chairperson of the council, it is not a challenge but presents opportunities such as to test myself about my capabilities and abilities as a councillor to serve the residents with pleasure. The opportunity to serve as mayor also made me come up with the Mayoral Action Plan that is aimed at carrying out activities that will have a positive impact on the people.

The other one is the registration of all the informal structures in the informal settlement, which was a job on its own.

“Remember that we have been or we are operating during the time of Covid-19. And it is not easy. We also carried out a social economic survey to hand out certificates to land owners in the informal settlements and it was not easy as we needed money, not only from politicians (councillors) but also from the technical people. We even managed to recruit 300 temporary community leaders to help us register informal structures in the informal settlement and some of these are interns,” she said.

Kahungu, whose office is situated in Babylon informal settlement despite being a mayor, continues to receive lots of praises from the people in the area as she is the first Windhoek mayor to operate from that part of the city.

“Another highlight during my tenure is the establishment of commercial toilets, even though there was no money for the toilets but we looked at the mayoral relief fund  as we managed to get N$300 000 from the fund to buy materials for the toilets to be fixed.  We also decided to give the informal traders sites to operate from. We thought of one of the sites which was reserved for public transport in Okahandja Park.

“My office had to decide without council resolution to remove unused materials and relocate them to Okuryangava.

What we did is that we got 20 volunteers. We also talked with our officials and our community people to assist us with contributions in the form of money or food.”

She also said that she enjoyed working with the entire council even though she rated her team with a score of six out of 10.

“I will rate the council six out of 10. The project that I want to leave behind is for government to subsidise all people who want to buy land in the north/east suburbs of Windhoek; all people in the informal settlements to have land ownership and to electrify the informal settlements,” said Kahungu.