When the City elephants fight, the grass suffers

THE latest shenanigans at the City of Windhoek in which Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillors are being withdrawn for misconduct are exacerbating and accelerating the challenges in the municipality which require a functional council to pass key resolutions.

The IPC this week announced the removal of Fillemon Hambuda and fellow councillor Desiree Davids from the Windhoek municipal council due to allegations of inappropriate conduct in contravention of its constitution.

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Hambuda who was also the chairperson of the management committee -a powerful political arm of the council that is key in implementing municipal decisions- this week also noted that he was ready to lay off because of the manner in which mayor Job Amupanda runs the council, and because of his dissatisfaction with the way in which the coalition of parties governing the council is managed.

This sad reality was reported recently by this publication where seven months into a new council, a coalition agreement by different political parties is yet to be signed and has now trickled towards collapse with allegations of ultimatums, purging and giving up on the mayoral plan having taken centre stage in the affairs of the city.

Essentially, what this infighting between coalition partners means is slow progress in the implementation of key reforms that are crucial for the development of the capital city which at this time requires stable and progressive leadership.

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Without doubt, it is imperative for this coalition which was formed between AR with two seats, the IPC with four seats, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), with one seat each, to put their differences aside and focus on the core responsibility with which the electorate entrusted them with.

This responsibility is one that also encompasses delivery of land to over 30 000 city dwellers who have been on the waiting list for many years.

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Perhaps, turning to the purpose of their own draft agreement would provide the partners, who appear to be on an agenda to outwit each other, better clarity of where they should seek to go and at the same time, offer relief for Windhoek residents who invested so much hope in a new cohort of young and seemingly progressive politicians at the expense of the tried and tested old guard.

We remind the coalition partners that the initial purpose of the coalition was to collectively provide sound and stable local authority governance for a five-year term concluding with the 2025 local government elections for the effective, efficient and adequate delivery of services and management of the legal entity of the Windhoek Municipality, in the fulfilment of its statutory and constitutional mandate, in compliance with all relevant legislations and authorities, in a professional, accountable, transparent and responsible manner for the benefit of all the inhabitants of the City of Windhoek.

Replacing this purpose with what has become routine for the city council is an injustice to the electorate which requires political heads to rein in their councillors towards a positive path for our beloved capital.

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