Opposition boycott re-election of city mayor
Three members from opposition political parties walked out before the chamber poll to elect Windhoek’s mayor, but Muese Kazapua and deputy mayor Fransina Kahungu were re-elected for another year in office.
The opposition members that walked out shortly before the election said they were informed that Swapo Party had given directives to its councillors on what should happen during the elections.
Those that walked out, in essence boycotting the election, were Nudo councillor Joseph Kauandenge, the DTA’s Ignatius Semba and Brunhilde Cornelius of Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).
Before the election started Kaundenge stood up and asked if they could be excused from the election, as their vote would not count as they are in the minority.
“Call us back to congratulate the mayor. We will be outside,” remarked Kauandenge before the three walked out.
Five members of the management committee were also elected yesterday. They are Matilde Ukeva, Moses Shiikwa, Paulus Immanuel, Teckla Uwanga and Matheus Amadhila. Amadhila was elected as the chairperson.
Kauandenge further explained that they were reliably informed that Swapo councillors were called in at the Swapo head office on Wednesday and given directives as to what should transpire during the election.
“It’s a guided election because the councillors are usually given a party directive saying that an individual’s status quo should continue,” he said.
“So when we come there, there is no real election taking place but mere pretending that there is an election because they already have a party directive,” said Kauandenge, who added that by being in the minority it was pointless to cast their votes.
“We walked out to protest the way the election is conducted and it a decision we made before the election. It doesn’t make sense to pretend to have an election while it has been decided beforehand,” said Kauandenge.
City of Windhoek acting chief executive officer Fillemon Hambunda stated that for the election to proceed one needs a quorum and they had consulted with the magistrate and according to the law there is nothing that could stop proceedings.
“Democracy is like that, you nominate and then you are supported – if someone seconds, then there are two nominations. They (opposition) were supposed to stay and participate in the process. They were not excluded, they excluded themselves,” said Hambunda. Swapo Party deputy secretary general Laura McLeod-Katjirua said: “They are from the opposition and how we do things has nothing to do with them. When elections are to change, members (councillors) consult with the party and inform us how they want things to be done,” said McLeod-Katjirua, adding that there is no way they were going to call Kauandenge and the other two as they belong to the opposition.
She further explained they have been doing this in the past and will continue doing it.
“If they wanted to elect someone they would have done that and lost because there is no way they were going to win,” further remarked McLeod-Katjirua.