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Wednesday 26 June 2019
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Sinimbo between rock and a hard place

While Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa  recently removed councillors who are engulfed in a dispute over the Mayor’s position – at the centre of it is a mother and wife who is believed to be stuck between a rock and place on whether to serve her party or join her family in India.
The party recalled three of its councillors who went against a directive from Shaningwa and voted former Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo from that position.
The Swapo councillors instead voted for councillor Isak Kandingu to replace Sinimbo as the Mayor of Rundu.
Shaningwa’s deputy, Marco Hausiku’s wife, Toini Hausiku, was elected as the deputy Mayor, while Anastacia Antonio retained her position as the chairperson of the management committee.
The three were replaced as councillors by Johanna Kakondo, Ngondo Johannes and Sarafina Kandere will replace the three recalled councillors
The Patriot has it on good authority that while Sinimbo wants to join her husband Gabriel Sinimbo on his diplomatic assignment, she is forced to stay in the Mayor’s office because she is “on the Harambee camp within Swapo”.
Sinimbo was last year appointed as the country’s emissary to India.
In a telephonic interview, yesterday afternoon a source close to the matter told The Patriot that while they cannot confirm whether Sinimbo is being kept there against her own will, they know that Shaningwa wants her there in order to protect the interests of the so-called Harambee camp.
“Shaningwa does not go stay at lodges when she comes goes to Rundu, she stays at Sinimbo’s house, we all know that,” the source confirmed.
The Patriot understands that it is a known fact that Sinimbo would rather want to join her husband and further her studies.
When contacted for comment, Verna Sinimbo stated she did not want to comment on the matter, saying it is private.
“I’m really tired of these questions. That is my private life and I don’t want to talk about it in the media,” she told The Patriot yesterday.
Some Swapo party members and leadership said that Shaningwa’s latest move to recall three councillors, is part of the agenda she is pushing in favour of the so-called Harambee camp within the party.
A source within Swapo leadership who did not want to be named said that while the councillors have accepted their recalling, they are planning to take legal action to block the new councillors from being sworn in.
Shaningwa who vehemently refused to even entertain any question from this reporter, said that the letter speaks for itself.
The Secretary General in her letter – dated 12 February – to Kavango East reogional coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi, directed her “to notify the aforementioned local authority councillors in the Rundu Town Council on the Swapo Party ticket that they are withdrawn from being local authority councillors with immediate effect”.
Making reference the Swapo Party Rules and Procedures for Election of Party Office-Bearers and Party Representatives at legislative and Government Levels, Shaningwa wrote that Part II, Section 49 provides that “In terms of the Electoral Act 1992, as amended, those candidates who stand on the party ticket are essentially sponsored by the party.
It is the party that spends money and other resources to campaign for them. Once they are elected, they cannot turn around and say that the party should not have a say in the manner in which they conduct themselves in the positions in which they have been elected.”
She noted that Swapo, through her office, has on numerous occasions directed that its directives be implemented. She further relied on the party’s constitution to cement her position that party members have the duty to implement resolutions, decisions, directives and agreements of the party.
“It is disappointing and painful that the above-mentioned councillors on the Swapo Party ticket are in cohorts with the opposition councillor into the management committee at the expense of Swapo Party, and thus bringing the name of the Swapo Party into disrepute,” in her letter to Shinduvi.
Shaningwa amongst other, recently communicated a directive that Sinimbo be voted as Mayor of Rundu by her fellow councillors.
She, in addition to relying on the Swapo Party Constitutions also made reference to the Local Authorities Act to say any member of a local authority will vacate his or her office if he or she is withdrawn by the political party that nominated him/her.




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