City games of thrones
18 June 2020 | Government
Renewed allegations of abuse of power and financial shenanigans have surfaced at the City of Windhoek, where factions led by CEO Robert Kahimise and City Police chief Abraham Kanime are said to be battling viciously for control.
Strangely, although Kahimise is at work, City Police senior superintendent Paukeni Titus remains acting CEO.
Titus is alleged to have been brought in to steamroll Kanime's reappointment for another three years, which will cost the City N$6.6 million.
Namibian Sun also understands that two strategic executives (SEs) were offered fixed five-year contracts until retirement and each received about N$947 523 in backpay.
They are Ludwig Narib, the strategic executive for infrastructure, water and scientific services, and George Mayumbelo, the strategic executive for human capital and corporate services.
This was confirmed by City CEO Robert Kahimise, but he declined to confirm the amount.
“This is a confidential (staff matter), which cannot be discussed in public; however, it can be confirmed that all heads (SEs)… are on five-year fixed term employment contracts, except the said two SEs who were offered fixed-term employment contracts until retirement with payments backdated to 2017,” Kahimise said.
This had been approved by the management committee and council against his advice that it exposes the City to “unnecessary financial risk”.
Councillors living large
This news comes amidst revelations that councillors earn between N$30 000 and N$40 000 monthly.
In addition, for each meeting they receive about N$1 000 and earn a monthly transport allowance of between N$3 000 and N$4 000.
Despite this allowance, councillors still make use council vehicles, it has been alleged.
Council sources said Kanime's reappointment in March, after his resignation and shortly before his 60th birthday, was unlawful.
Kahimise said the issue is currently before the High Court, and as such, he cannot discuss it.
Insiders say there are currently two centres of power in the City - one run by Kanime and the other the existing structure under the CEO.
According to a reliable source, Titus was appointed as acting CEO while Kahimise was in office to oversee Kanime's reappointment.
Titus admitted this week he is still the acting CEO, despite Kahimise being present at work.
According to him, the council has the power to appoint an acting CEO if the incumbent is not able to execute some or all of his or her duties.
Titus also admitted he was present at the recent council meeting where Kanime, Narib and Mayubelo's employment conditions were reflected on and agreed upon.
Run like a tuck shop
According to insiders, mayor Fransina Kahungu, does not support Kanime and his supporters' efforts to run the City like a “tuck shop”.
It is further alleged that a special council meeting was called last week to replace Kahungu as the deponent in the Kanime High Court matter with her deputy Ian Subasubani, who will now be allowed to submit affidavits on behalf of City.
Subasubani acknowledged this development on Wednesday morning, but argued it was not his decision.
He, however, welcomed the decision and accepted that the management committee had “used their wisdom”.
Subasubani denied there are two centres of power in the City.
“No, not at all. It depends on what you mean by that. “
According to him, Kahungu remains the head of the institution.
Kanime also pleaded ignorance of the factions yesterday, saying: “I'm not aware of that.”
Kahungu did not answer her phone.
Narib pleaded ignorance when contacted for comment, saying he has been on leave for two weeks.
“I am on leave on the farm. I am not informed of these developments. “Whatever the council decides is treated as confidential information. This is news to me,” he said.
He stressed that he is not aware of the N$900 000 backpay.
His colleague, Mayumbelo, told Namibian Sun that it would be wrong to divulge internal information to the media.