IPC councillors back from 11-month suspension

After 11 months with no pay or benefits over alleged misconduct, three Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillors will resume their duties in the Omuthiya Town Council.

The three councillors – Nghipudilo ya Shiindi, Moses Amukoto and Beata Josef – will attend their first council meeting on Thursday.

This is after urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni summoned all seven councillors to an urgent consultative meeting on the leadership of the council in Windhoek last Thursday.

Omuthiya mayor Johannes Ndeutepo suspended Ya Shiindi for an indefinite period in July last year, while Amukoto and Josef were suspended for 30 working days.

This was due to the councillors allegedly convening an illegal meeting with residents of an informal settlement at Omuthiya on 2 July last year.

Before the summons, a series of letters were exchanged between the minister and the mayor, with Ndeutepo pushing for Ya Shiindi’s removal from the council.

The three councillors’ return to their duties was confirmed by Ndeutepo yesterday. “We had a consultative meeting with the minister last week where a lot of issues were discussed pertaining to the council, including that of the three councillors,” Ndeutepo said.

“The minister opted to put everything in general and said he understands that there were a lot of things done and mistakes made but pleaded with council to reconcile and forgive those misconducts made and just allow council to continue for the remainder of the period without punishing anyone,” said Ndeutepo.

Ndeutepo further said councillors agreed in principle and he hopes all councillors will be present at the council meeting on Thursday.
Asked whether the three councillors will receive their suspended allowances, Ndeutepo said it is a legal matter.

The mayor rubbished claims on social media that he chose to resign after the meeting with the minister. “Why would I want to resign? I am a people’s servant, that’s not how I jump responsibilities,” Ndeutepo said.

Ya Shiindi said she is glad that they are back in the council chambers, adding that her expectation is for the council to implement the minister’s directive in full.

“When are they paying our money? But overall we are happy,” she said.

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