By Staff Reporter
Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leader, Job Amupanda has said that if he makes it to the position of mayor for the City of Windhoek, he is going to force all ministers to pay their water and electricity bills.
“All of them are panicking because I gave them a friendly warning. I simply just said they must pay their bills. Majority of ministers are not paying for their water. And I am going to disconnect. Whether you are President or Head of intelligence. I will cut off that thing, just at six O’clock when you and your wife are showering then the water just goes off! Why is it that you can’t pay when others are doing the same?” he said.
The uncompromising activist has this week announced that he is running for the mayoral position and has described the housing and safety situation of the city as deplorable.
He has rubbished the reasoning that one cannot run for the office without having political party backing.
“It was an unfortunate and misinformed assertion that was spearheaded by a young journalist at One Africa and I have taken it up with the colleagues and they said they are going to take it up with the journalist. So personally I have already forgiven them for that. Of course it’s a point that is made out of ignorance. The law allows for a local authority election. Local authorities are established by the constitution.
And I don’t blame them because these types of conversations are new to them. They never had the time to discuss who is going to be the mayor and what the process is like. So they can be forgiven.
Now the implementing aspect of how one gets to power and all those structures is by the electoral law and that law makes provision that either a candidate must belong to a political party or an association,” he articulated.
He has promised 7600 houses with an additional employment of 3 000 guards to guarantee security in the city.
But where will the money come from?
“When you see the drafted manifesto when it gets released, it is going to have details for everything that we have said, we are going to indicate how those things are going to be funded. When you have land, there is what is called pre-allocation.
In other words, before the land is even serviced you give them land and say this is your erf on the map and this is the land. So once you pay it’s going to be made available.
So all I need to do is to get an architect, get a civil engineer to design the services and say this 5 000 ha is available and how many plots can I get out of that 5 000. Then we send out an advert for those people who have their own money and they can contribute towards collective servicing,” he said.
But information coming from the city is that it is compelled to lean heavily on the sale of land to cover for operational costs due to the local authorities who received little support from government for its financial operations.
Consumers also owe the city billions of dollars. The activist said once put in office, his major objective would be to fast-track the allocation of land, building and disbursement of houses to the majority of residents in sprawling informal settlements.
Amupanda has indicated that once in office, he would not wear what he termed as “that chain”.
Criticizing the current leadership at the city, Amupanda this week wrote that Windhoek records the worst urban land and housing crisis, adding that it has more flats than actual houses.
He has also described residents as slaves to rich landlords – saying “most of them have given up hope of owning a house.”
Amupanda pointed out that one hundred thousand Windhoek residents live in shacks and are constantly harassed by the police. He has summed Windhoek up as “a city that has failed to control crime, providing an excuse for the deployment of the military.”
He added that the municipality is without stability, saying that its leaders were involved in perpetual interpersonal fights.
“Even president Geingob failed to solve these Swapo squabbles paralyzing the city, meanwhile residents continue to suffer. Windhoek is a tax-collecting bloodsucker that doesn’t inspire, and is without a sense of direction. It is captured by the political elite, and has long been a theatre of corruption. Windhoek needs a new direction, purpose and leadership,” he said.
In January of this year, the movement said it wanted to mobilise its members to vote for any political party that will adopt – in its election manifesto – the group’s wishes and aspirations ahead of the national polls.