WINDHOEK: The Soweto Constituency in Katutura has been renamed after its first regional councillor and the first Governor of the Khomas Region, the late John Alfons Pandeni.
Officially inaugurating the John Alfons Pandeni Constituency hon Wednesday, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the decision to name the constituency after Pandeni is aimed at preserving his legacy for future generations.
The Head of State described the late Pandeni, who passed away in a motor-vehicle accident in 2008 whilst serving as the Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Minister, as “a national hero who dedicated his life to the struggle against apartheid, and who served the nation in many capacities”.
Pohamba said he was a true revolutionary and dedicated patriot, and a fearless fighter who participated in several battles against South African troops with his comrades such as the current Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Peter Iilonga.
“Given the outstanding history of the late Pandeni and his contribution to the task of nation-building, it is only appropriate that the residents of this constituency have decided to honour him in this way.
It is our duty as Namibians to give due recognition to our heroes and heroines, who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country and its people,” Pohamba said.
Government has adopted a number of policies and established institutions to bring public services closer to the people. These include regional and local authorities, which are designed to facilitate the democratic participation of people in issues of governance.
Pohamba said Government has also ensured that constituency offices are established at each of the 107 constituencies in the country, and urged regional councillors to listen to the citizens, and to bring their concerns to the attention of Government so that appropriate solutions could be found.
Regional councillors thus have an important role to play in the implementation of Government’s decentralisation policy, which includes the provision of primary healthcare, early childhood development and pre-primary education, libraries, social services and the provision of housing.
“We view decentralisation as an important component of democratic governance because it enables citizens to make their own decisions at a local level. It enables citizens to participate in the setting of priorities, and the implementation of development initiatives that affect their daily lives,” he continued.
Speaking at the same occasion, the widow of the late Pandeni, Julia Pandeni thanked the people of the Soweto Constituency for honouring her late husband’s contributions.
She then called on the regional councillor of the constituency, Rachel Jacobs and people living there to engage in constructive discussions for the benefit of all people.