Mayor’s farewell speech turns into embarrassing questions for Swapo

For the Walvis Bay Town Council, business will never be the same again. That is if things are judged by the unprecedented events that marked the last council meeting at the Kuisebmond Council Chambers on Tuesday night.

The meeting started on its familiar tone, but when the Mayor Alderman Immanuel Wilfried delivered his farewell statement, members of the public started to heckle him from the public gallery.
Mayor Wilfried has not made himself available for re-election and bids the town council farewell after more than two decades as Councillor and also a five year period serving as citizen number one.
No one seemed interested to listen the mayor’s farewell speech. Instead, the members of the public demanded answers over N$24 million that has gone missing during a housing scheme the municipality had to carry out on behalf of Government.

Others shouted questions to the mayor over the Swapo majority Council’s failure to provide people with decent housing. Others accused Council of only managing Walvis Bay for the pockets of Swapo cronies, who are the only ones to benefit from public tenders, high value land and lucrative public projects.
One man was overheard shouting to the mayor the upcoming elections will see opposition parties entering Council and that it would spell the end of Swapo’s way of “managing Walvis Bay’s affairs from behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny”.
The heckling interrupted proceedings several times, and at one stage both mayor Wilfried and Councillors made errors of judgment by replying to the hecklers and trying to get into counter arguments with the people on the gallery.
After the Council meeting, Namib Times posed questions to some of the members of the public who attended the proceedings.
“Things will never be the same again in the governance of Walvis Bay. For too long the Walvis Bay Town Council operated as an exclusive club for Swapo cronies. That came at the expense of our rate payers and at the expense of the development of our town”, summed up a member of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC). Other parties seen on the public galleries were the Affirmative Repositioning Movement (AR), Landless People’s Movement (LPM), the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and the Joint Walvis Bay Residents Association (JWRA), all taking part in next Wednesday’s elections.
Also see article: “AR lays criminal charges against Walvis Municipality.”

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