18 months without CEO

11 October 2019 | Local News

The Grootfontein municipality, which is facing corruption allegations, has been without a chief executive officer for the last 18 months.

The vacancy was advertised late last year and shortlisted candidates were interviewed in July, but the minister of urban and rural development, Peya Mushelenga, is still waiting for the council's recommendation.

Mushelenga is also awaiting the findings of an investigation he had ordered into the council's affairs.

“The appointment of the CEO has not been brought before me, you may wish to contact the Grootfontein town council,” Mushelenga said when approached for comment. Attempts to get comment from the municipality's acting CEO, Arnold Ameb, and mayor Absai Haimene have failed since last Friday.

The chairperson of the council's management committee, Jack Tsanigab, said the search for a new CEO was continuing.

“What I know is that the interviews were conducted. It is an independent process; the management committee and the council are not involved.

“What the panel recommends is what we are going to implement. The panel consists of people from the ministry and different stakeholders,” he said.

Tsanigab said the recruitment process used to be quicker in the past when it was handled by the management committee.

“Before the current process, the process was very short because the management committee had overall responsibility in terms of appointing the panel and now it is a bit long as an independent panel needs to be appointed, who will release the results to the management committee, which will then recommend to the council and then to the minister. The council does not have the last say, the minister is the appointing authority,” he said.

Tsanigab denied claims that more interviews would be conducted in order to accommodate politically connected individuals.

Some disgruntled Grootfontein municipal employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed concern over the delay in appointing a CEO.

They said the uncertainty affected their productivity.

“We really need a CEO; what is happening at the municipality is not fair. We are unable to deliver services effectively to the residents because we do not have leadership,” they said.

In July, Namibian Sun reported that the Grootfontein municipality was selling three tipper trucks to pay the N$475 625.15 it owed to 23 employees as per a Labour Court order that the ministry of urban and rural development had tried to stop.

In May the police investigated a case of fraud after the Grootfontein municipality had transferred about N$150 000 to fraudsters.

KENYA KAMBOWE