…as Opuwo Councillor survives the axe
The ruling party says it will tackle the issue of infightings within the Opuwo Town Council next year, where Swapo councillors are at loggerheads and subsequently plotting to eliminate each other from the council.
The party’s Regional Executive Committee(REC) last week resolved not to axe on one of its town councillors, Richard Tjazapi, who is alleged to be an Affirmative Repositioning (AR) activist.
Tjazapi is also accused of misconduct for failing to support a resolution adopted by fellow councillors who also serve on a Swapo ticket earlier this year. The resolution was to automatically renew the contract of the then CEO of Opuwo Town Council Alphons Tjitombo.
The Patriot was informed by a well-placed that a certain faction within the party’s regional leadership were unhappy and wanted Tjazapi out for failing to support the automatic contract renewal of Tjitombo
The party dispatched (Rtd) Major General Charles Namoloh, one of the national leaders assigned to Kunene, to attend to the matter last week.
Namoloh however refused to dwell on the Tjazapi saga when approached this week saying “it was not discussed at the REC meeting because some leaders were absent from the meeting.”
“To those suspecting that I went to discuss what happened with the CEO (Tjitombo), I never dwelled on that,” said Namoloh.
Namoloh further reiterated that his recent visit to Opuwo was strictly to review and assess Swapo’s progress as well as conducting the district election in Otuani.
“I am a leader assigned there (Kunene), I go there to talk to my people to review what we did and what we have to do,”
“I went to conduct the district election in Otuani, which was the main issue,” added Namoloh.
However, Namoloh added that matters relating to Tjazapi’s alleged misconduct were shelved due to the absence of key leaders at the REC meeting. According to Namoloh, the “town council” issue surrounding Tjazapi will be dealt with early next year. Tjazapi confirmed to The Patriot that a certain section within the party wanted him gone.
“I’m aware that a certain faction want me out because I differed with fellow party councillors who wanted the CEO’s (Tjitombo) contract automatically renewed,” said Tjazapi.
Furthermore, a source in the know who spoke to The Patriot said Namoloh urged the REC members and the entire Swapo members in the region to unite at all levels.
“He (Namoloh) called on for unity and urged us not to attack each through media platforms because in the end Swapo is more important than any individual member,” said the source.
Echoing the words of Namoloh, the source said Swapo has laws in place to solve its disputes rather than resorting to infighting between its members.
“For now, nobody is going anywhere (including Tjazapi), we are going to handle this issue in the best interest of the party,” the source added.
According media reports, Tjazapi came under-fire in September when a group of Opuwo local business owners (15) and members of the community (200) staged a demonstration calling for his removal.
The group also accused Opuwo Town Council of being run by AR and DTA, and labelled Tjazapi and fellow councillor Elise Hihanguapo as “reactionaries who sold out the party”.
Furthermore, the demonstrators handed over a petition to Kunene Governor Angelika Muharakua to pass it on to Swapo Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba.
At the time, Nampa reported that Regional Coordinator of Swapo in Kunene John #Gawusab was against the removal of the two councillor, saying it would not solve the problem at hand. #Gawusab suggested that the two councillors should be called to order.
On the other hand, the demonstration was viewed as a fabricated and reactionary move by pro-Tjitombo businessmen to an earlier demonstration that took place at the town.
In June this year, a group of Opwuo residents calling themselves Opuwo Community Concerned Group (OCCG) demonstrated against the snail’s paced development of the North-Western town and also called Tjotombo to step down.
The group accused Tjitombo of not being accessible to the community to answer their queries. In addition, the group pointed out that since his appointment in 2006, Opuwo has seen an increase in the unfair distribution of land and the absence of serviced land.
Also, in OCCG’s petition, allegations surfaced that tenders at the town are predetermined to favour hand-picked business who had close relations with some senior members of the Opuwo Town Council.
According to sources, it has been established that among those calling for Tjazapi’s have benefited greatly from “dubious land deals and other malpractices” under Tjitombo’s tenure as the town’s executive.
The CEO’s position remains vacant since October after Tjitombo’s term ended following his 10-year reign as CEO.
Meanwhile, Abel Katjoho is the acting CEO as the hunt for a permanent one continues.