The two newly elected regional councillors for Otjiwarongo and Opuwo Rural have promised to serve the electorate and improve service delivery in their respective constituencies.
Swapo candidate Marlyan Mbakera won the Otjiwarongo by-election on Monday after obtaining 2 910 votes, beating independent candidate Erastus Mbumba who finished second with 1 020 votes and Landless People’s Movement representative Sebeteus Guiteb who garnered 752 votes.
At Opuwo, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) retained the constituency, with its candidate Uaurikua Kakuva overwhelmingly winning local support after obtaining a 2 066 votes compared to Nudo’s Kapukatua Kuvare who received 640 votes.
Swapo finished third with its candidate Steyn Katupa obtaining a measly 435 votes. Following her win, Mbakera yesterday told New Era that attitude of good governance, accountability and transparency will be the pillars of her leadership during her term as the constituency councillor.
Mbakera said her focus during the eight months at the helm of the constituency would be to create jobs for the unemployed youth, to lobby for programmes supporting child-headed households and single women as well as mobilising for the establishment of a vocational training centre for the constituency.
“Eight months is a short period of time to be able to make remarkable impact. However, programmes supporting child-headed households and single women will be my priority,” she said.
Kakuva on his part said he owes the inhabitants of Opuwo Rural a great deal of accountability and transparency. Kakuva said his focus would be on addressing the drought situation that is still prevalent in most parts of the constituency. “We have lost a lot. Livestock is the livelihood of our people, so my focus will be to engage government especially the governor on how our people can get their livelihood back,” Kakuva said. He also said he would engage government on the construction of bridges and gravel roads in his constituency. “After 30 years of independence, Kunene is the only region that does not have proper infrastructure such as roads. As we speak, people can’t move around freely because of the rivers. So one of my focus will be to engage our government through the governor to construct more bridges in my constituency.” Out of the 22 000 registered voters in Otjiwarongo, only 4 707 cast their votes, signifying a huge voter apathy challenge. The Otjiwarongo constituency by-election was necessitated by the death of councillor Julius Neumbo late last year. During the Opuwo Rural by-election, of the 7 391 eligible voters, only 3 147 voted. Kakuva takes over from Kazeongere Tjeundo who is part of the 16 PDM members that will form part of the seventh session of the National Assembly.
Kingmakers… Registered voters take part in the Opuwo Rural constituency by-election on Monday.