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Namoloh calms Okahandja turmoil

20 February 2015 Author  

front Namoloh 20febThe Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Charles Namoloh has seconded an official from his ministry to act as chief executive officer of Okahandja in an attempt to address the on-going squabbles at the town.

The highly polarised situation at Okahandja has reportedly pitted the mayor of the town, Valerie Aron, against Okahandja constituency councillor Steve ‘Biko’ Booys.

Namoloh felt that an employee from the ministry would serve as a neutral party and calm the storm while the town council advertises the CEO position left vacant by Frans Enkali who resigned recently.

Turmoil has wracked the town for months on end, with the first battle involving the town council led by Aron and Enkali who subsequently resigned under questionable circumstances.

It has emerged that Enkali, who made it onto the shortlist of candidates for the City of Windhoek CEO position, simply failed to follow council’s instructions.

This led to a deterioration of the relationship between the CEO and the town council.

Following Enkali’s resignation, unrest broke out at the town as angry residents marched in protest to the municipal offices to hand over a petition to the mayor.

Aron however declined to go out to meet the protestors and receive the petition as she feared for her own safety. She claimed that Booys had orchestrated the uproar.

In her absence, Booys surprisingly appeared on the scene to accept the petition on behalf of the Okahandja mayor.

At a meeting with Namoloh last week Thursday, the town council agreed to accept Namoloh’s proposal to send an employee from his ministry to act as CEO while a suitable candidate to succeed Enkali was being found.

The council undertook to pass a resolution to accept the ministry official send to the town come 2 March 2015.

Allegations have surfaced that the latest feud between Booys and Aron could have tribalism elements in it, because most of the protestors outside the mayor’s office were Damara-speaking.

“These people were here shouting derogatory tribal remarks about the mayor,” a source from the town said.

Sources at the town further alleged that Oshiwambo-speaking people dominated the Swapo Party leadership in Okahandja, which made Booys fear that he was unlikely to win re-election later this year in the local government elections.

Party insiders at the town claim that Aron as the district coordinator supports a candidate other than Booys for the constituency councillor position, which has made Booys, feel very insecure.

A community meeting called by Booys at Vyfrand settlement in the town on Sunday turned into a chaotic affair as residents questioned and challenged his intentions.

He reportedly told the Vyfrand residents to present their grievances and problems, so that he could listen to their complaints, especially with regard to issues surrounding land.

However, the meeting turned into a blame game that brought the proceedings to a complete halt.

Sources present at the gathering said community members asked Booys why he had not conducted any meetings at the camp earlier, even though he had held office for many years.

They also asked for an explanation about reports that the municipal authorities would pull down the structures they had built.

In addition, they demanded that the town should bring electricity and water to their homes while others wanted land to build houses. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.