The Rundu Town Council has elected Isack Kandingu as the new mayor, defying SWAPO Party Secretary General, Sophia Shaningwa’s directive to maintain the status quo.
The elections were held on Thursday , as per Shaningwa’s latest directive to councillors.
SWAPO Party’s Deputy Secretary General, Marco Hausiku's wife, Toini, was elected as the new deputy mayor, along with Anastacia Shinduvi-Foya, who is the Chairperson of the management committee and Mathew Wakudumo of the All People’s Party (APP).
Former Mayor, Verna Sinimbo, and her deputy, Ralph Ihemba, resort to being ordinary councillors alongside Reginald Ndara Rundu from the Concerned Citizens Association.
The proceedings were brought to a standstill when Ihemba nominated Sinimbo to retain her position. Sinimbo’s nomination did not see any secondment from other members, forcing Magistrate Sonia Sampofu to call for a recess.
The council consists of five SWAPO Party members and one each from the All People’s Party and civic group, the Rundu Concerned Citizens Association.
Only two members were elected for the management committee with the other spot remaining unoccupied as the councillors refused to nominate a final member.
In his acceptance speech, Kandingu said there should be unity among the councillors in order for them to work together. He said if anything goes wrong, they should sit and deliberate.
“We must be unified because hatred will never take us anywhere. I urge the residents of Rundu to be united and work as a team in our town of Rundu,” Kandingu said.
The election and swearing-in of the councillors was postponed on two occasions last November, a situation that had brought operations of the Rundu Town Council to a standstill as there was no management committee to make decisions.