Swapo battles aim to unseat Windhoek Mayor

By Confidente Reporter

SWAPO infights at the City of Windhoek have reached alarming levels with attempts by an anti-mayor Fransina Kahungu faction already having started conniving to unseat her.

This comes after a Management Committee (MC) meeting on June 3 resolved to sideline her as a deponent on behalf of Council in a High Court case that is challenging the re-appointment of City Police Chief Abraham Kanime.

The meeting is widely seen as a clear attempt and first step to unseat Kahungu as well as to create two centres of power.  The MC has since authorised deputy mayor, Ian Subasubani to depose an answering affidavit on behalf of council in the court case.

The meeting was chaired by Swapo councillor Ananias Niizimba in the absence of MC chairperson Moses Shiikwa.

In an exclusive interview with Confidente on Wednesday, Kahungu said that she got wind of the MC meeting by chance.  She said that although she was not briefed about the rendezvous, she deliberately walked in only to learn that the agenda was to delegate Subasubani who also serves as the council deputy chairperson to depose the affidavit.  The other item on the agenda was the appointment of senior superintendent Pahukeni Titus as acting CEO.

“To date, as chairperson of Council no one has briefed me about the court case against City Police Chief Abraham Kanime that was lodged by opposition councillor Ignatius Semba.  At their meeting, I told them that I will recuse myself from their gathering because I was clearly not wanted in their plans to make Council deputy chairperson a deponent in the High Court case,”   Kahungu said.

She added that on June 4, she learnt from council minutes that Subasubani was the officially authorised deponent.

She confidently said that while the actions point to possible mooting of a vote of no confidence to be passed against her, she dared her colleagues to go ahead provided they have good reasons.

“They can provided they have good reasons to pass a vote of no confidence because if not their conscience will haunt them.”

Council minutes dated June 4 in Confidente’s possession state that, “…The Deputy Chairperson of Council be and is hereby authorised to depose to the answering affidavit on behalf of Council in case number HC-CIV-MOT-REV-2020/00127 and any other subsequent affidavits in this matter.

“That it be noted that the Chairperson of the Management Committee informed the Chief Executive Officer that he instructed Senior Superintendent PP Titus, as the condition of his appointment as acting Chief Executive Officer in this matter to instruct Kopplinger Boltman Legal Practitioners to oppose the motion by Councillor Ignatius Semba.

“That it also be noted that the Chairperson of the Management Committee further informed the Chief Executive Officer that all legal matters emanating from the Council decision to retain Chief Abraham Kanime shall be dealt with by the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Senior Superintendent PP Titus,” the document partly reads.

Subasubani said that while under normal circumstances the mayor is expected to depose the affidavit, the matter was an agenda of the MC.

“…The authority is the MC.  It is beyond me and the mayor.  They (MC) use their wisdom to decide who is who so they would be best suited to provide reasons as to why, and perhaps the acting CEO on Mr Kanime’s case (sic).”

Subasubani however ruled out plans to unseat the mayor as well as the creation of two centres of power.

“In as we elect ourselves in these positions, we are given instructions as to who holds what position.  Whether one likes the mayor or not or any other person, no one can just stand up and remove the mayor.  There are party processes. There is only one mayor and her powers are very clear.  From my point of view, I am not privy to plans to unseat the mayor or the creation of two centres of power.”

Kahungu concluded that she is not fazed by her colleagues’ attempts to sideline her but is rather consumed with service delivery activities.

“I am here to work.  I promised to deliver quality services to people and until the date I am finished nothing will deter me.  I have 12 months to fulfil what I said I will do under oath so the position of mayor to me is secondary.  My work to deliver comes first.”

Contacted for comment, council CEO Robert Kahimise said, “I am usually not recognised in any issues relating to answering affidavits of the Chief Kanime case; please consult the mayor or acting CEO senior Sup Titus.”

Niizimba could not be reached for comment.