Dispute over committee councillors
25 April 2021 | Government
Local Authority Act, “…provides for the appointment of dedicated committees consisting of members of the management committee...”
Chaos erupted at a Walvis Bay ordinary council meeting after the newly elected council recommended that a new set of members serve on various internal committees and external institutions until 2025.
One of the issues in question is serving on the ErongoRED board of directors.
Council resolved to recall its current member representatives and their alternates, and resolved that the management committee chairperson Leroy Victor and his alternate Ronald Bramwell, Richard Hoaeb and his alternate Olivia Andrews, serve on the ErongoRED board.
This did not sit well with councillor Paulus Kauhondamwa who said that he does not support the recalling of councillors, saying they should be allowed to complete their term.
He also implied that Victor who is recommended to serve on various internal and external committees, cannot be the “referee, player and goalie”.
“We must abide by the Local Authority Act and not misread or misinterpret it. We must follow the correct procedures.”
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes reminded Kauhondamwa that he had received the council agenda 72 hours before the meeting and had ample time to raise any disputes.
Albertina Nkoshi, also a SWAPO councillor, recused herself from serving on any of the committees, saying: “You have taken resolutions and made recommendations without us again.”
According to the council agenda, there are four parts for councillors to consider: internal committees; representation of external bodies; fixed representation due to office held by councillors; and external institutions where representation is by virtue of the office that a council member or official holds through other external appointments.
Section 26(1) of the Local Authorities Act (Act No. 23 of 1992) provides for the appointment of dedicated committees consisting of members of the management committee to advise committees in the exercise of its powers or performance of its duties. Such committees are commonly known as advisory committees.
The following recommendations were made concerning council members to serve on various committees:
• Farm 37 technical advisory committee: Richard Hoaeb (PDM), Ronald Bramwell, and Stanley Bikeur (LPM) as alternate member.
• The once-off pre-planning committee for 5-year Strategic Plan: Leroy Victor (IPC), Richard Hoaeb (PDM) and Ronald Bramwell (JWRA).
• Walvis Bay Pension Fund Trustees (WBPF): Olivia Andrews (IPC) as employer trustee, Ronald Bramwell (JWRA) as employer trustee, Albertina Nkoshi (SWAPO) as alternative employer trustee. Augistino Victor to be removed as employer trustee.
• The Association for Local Authorities in Namibia: Leroy Victor (IPC) and Richard Hoaeb (PDM).
• Health Committee of the MoHSS: Olivia Andrews (IPC), Ronald Bramwell (JWRA) and Richard Hoaeb (PDM).
• Police Public Relations Committee: Paulus Kauhondamwa (SWAPO) as member with Sara Mutondoka as alternate member.
• Constituency Development Committee: Richard Hoaeb (PDM) and Stanley Bikeur (LPM).
• Walvis Bay Environmental Management Advisory Forum (WEMAF): Ronald Bramwell (JWRA) and Albertina Nkoshi (SWAPO) as alternate member.
Council recalled its current member representatives and their alternates on the Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor (ErongoRED) Board of Directors with immediate effect and replaced them with Leroy Victor (IPC) and Ronald Bramwell (JWRA) as his alternate, and Richard Hoaeb (PDM) and Olivia Andrews (IPC) as his alternate.