Okahandja progress report

//Garoeb answers questions on the situation in Okahandja

07 May 2020 | Government

Most local authorities in Namibia would be run prudently and effectively if politicians stuck to the oversight role instead of meddling in municipalities’ day-to-day operations, says Okahandja municipality administrator, Linus //Garoeb.
In an interview with Nampa, he covered various issues, while primarily focusing on his experience since taking over from Okahandja municipal councillors.
“Politicians and administrators can work together, but politicians must stick to politics and allow the administrators to do the day-to-day work. You can compare councillors to the board of a company. They are not in office to run the day-day activities,” he said.
He feels that when the line between the roles of politicians and technocrats becomes blurred, any given local authority is bound to have a serious problem, as is the case with many in Namibia.
With regards to the progress he has made since taking over from the councillors, he said his immediate challenge has been to ensure the delivery of quality services. “I am giving direction to the workers on what needs to be done and by when. I am also trying to inspire them to work,” he said, adding that employee wellness is paramount. “I want to see a motivated staff who deliver services without political interference. I hope the new council will take over a town in a good state when I leave.”
He lamented the lack of equipment and old infrastructure as some of the challenges he faces. “Pipe bursts in Okahandja are a serious problem. The water infrastructure is old. This is a challenge for us as it frustrates residents,” he said.
Another headache for the seasoned administrator is keeping the ‘Garden Town’ clean. “We need to educate our people about the health risks posed by dirty surroundings,” he said.
On the sale of land, he said that a moratorium remains firmly in place against the sale of land – one of the key revenue-generating streams for any municipality. //Garoeb added that investigations into allegations of misconduct levelled against the chief executive officer, Martha Mutilifa, are still ongoing.
“That [investigation] is not my principal goal. The ministry [of Urban and Rural Development] is doing that. Service delivery is my priority.” – Nampa

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