Town regrading a ‘sad move’By: ADAM HARTMAN
THE secretary general of the Democratic Party of Namibia (DPN), Adam Isaacs, has called a recent decision to regrade eight local authorities before the November elections a “very sad move”.
In an internal memorandum in July, Regional and Local Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo said the Ruacana, Aranos, Oshikuku and Otavi village councils would be upgraded to town councils.
The Karibib, Karasburg and Usakos municipal councils would be downgraded to town councils, while the Uis village council would be downgraded to a declared settlement area.
According to Ekandjo, the regarding is “critical” for sustainable development of the local authorities. He said the necessary changes should be gazetted by the end of August.
“This rush to have the regrading done prior to the elections is very sad and a political move by Swapo to punish those areas in which Swapo is losing support,” Isaacs alleged.
Most of the towns’ CEOs told The Namibian that they had only heard “talk of regrading” but nothing official was communicated to them.
To some the upgrades were good news, while others being downgraded said they had anticipated such a decision.
Isaacs said Swapo’s plan to downgrade some local authorities, such as Karasburg, was to “hijack” the rich mining and agricultural resources in the area, while in the case of Uis, the political power of individuals opposed to Swapo would be removed with the downgrade.
“We are very unhappy with the way Swapo is managing its own agenda to benefit only their supporters, while other Namibians who may not follow them have to stand and beg,” he said.
“This is not democracy.”