Cecilia McNab Sherally – Namibia

Cecilia McNab Sherally – Namibia

Date: June 26, 2012
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Housing is a local government competence in all countries and one that is close to the heart of women councillors. Swapo Party deputy mayor Cecilia McNab Sherally has made housing her main concern after becoming a councillor for the first tine in the 2004 elections.

“When I was appointed, I felt excited and afraid. It is a very responsible task; but you realise the power in you to do good. I see what the needs are in the community; the water taps that are off; the aged who need care; I bring these issues to the Council and I fight for them. Our motto as councillors is that the political campaign is over. It is time to leave our jackets outside. We are here to deliver services; to make an impact. Housing, it happens, is my passion.”

McNab Sherally pointed out that the council had no gender desk or policy, “but we should have one.”

During the struggle for Namibia’s independence, Rehoboth, with its majority mixed race population who call themselves “Basters” threatened to form a break away state. Sixteen years later, suspicion of the ruling party is just so many inches beneath the surface.

Soon before researchers visited the municipality of Rehoboth, members of the community had been on a march about the absence of flush toilets in their area. Councillor Katrina Benz of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) complained about the issue being referred to the management committee, because she said this would delay it by another month.

But Deputy Mayor Cecilia McNab Sherally said the council’s hands are tied. “We need ministerial approval to build flush toilets. People have to understand that there are processes that we have to follow. Budgets must be prepared and approved.” She says that service delivery is challenging, but the real reward of her job is when she can see the impact services make in everyone’s lives.



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