Grootfontein's executive mess
There appears to be a serious fight among the town's senior officials and councillors, who are accused of using their power and influence to enrich themselves.
19 August 2020 | Government
Infighting between the Grootfontein municipality CEO Kisco Sinvula and finance executive Ileni Hainghumbi is fast poisoning the work atmosphere at the office.
While Sinvula claims to be implementing a council resolution to deal with Hainghumbi's alleged misconduct, Hainghumbi argues that his principals are trying to force him to resign so that they can have easy access to the town's coffers.
Whatsapp group screenshots and voice notes of the squabbles between the two have gone public.
There appears to be a serious fight among the town's senior officials and councillors, who are accused of using their power and influence to enrich themselves instead of delivering services to the residents.
Grootfontein has serious problems with housing and land provision.
The tussle between Sinvula and Hainghumbi stems from transactions amounting to N$768 500 made by the municipality's finance department. Hainghumbi was accused of making these transactions, which led to his suspension in January last year. Three months later, the suspension was lifted.
While Hainghumbi was on suspension the council was defrauded of N$150 000 and it was alleged to have been an inside job.
Hainghumbi's matter has been rekindled by Sinvula, who told Namibian Sun that as the accounting officer he was simply enforcing a council resolution. Sinvula was appointed in March as the new Grootfontein CEO.
“The alleged charges date back to 2019, before my tenure at council. I am just implementing council decisions in my capacity as an accounting officer to ensure the staff member is treated fairly and the matter concluded,” Sinvula said.
Sinvula refused to answer questions about to Hainghumbi's charge sheet.
Hainghumbi told Namibian Sun that he could not recall having being served with a charge sheet.
“Ask them for the charge sheet. They claim to have given me charges but where are the charges? They must produce the charge sheet which I signed an acknowledgment for,” Hainghumbi argued.
Hainghumbi said there was an attempt to get rid of him, something he vowed would not happen.
Last week, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested Grootfontein management committee chairperson Jack Tsanigab for alleged fraud related to a Build Together plot that was awarded to his relative using forged documents. He was granted bail of N$4 000.
“These are the people who are knowingly, repeatedly and deliberately trying to hurt my persona because of their vendettas but I cannot allow it,” Hainghumbi said.
“I am not moved because they basically want to frustrate me and see me out but I will not go anywhere.
“I will be here to protect the company's resources like I always do and it's my duty to do that.”
Namibian Sun saw a copy of a letter dated 14 August that Hainghumbi addressed to mayor Abisai Haimane, in which he accused Sinvula of failing to pay the council for plots awarded to one of his companies.
The 10 hectares of land was allegedly offered to K&C and SG Consortium about two years ago but the council has not yet received any payment. Attempts to get comment from Haimene since Monday proved futile. However, regarding the plots sold to his company, Sinvula shared his declaration of interest dated 16 March. According to the document, Sinvula has a stake in nine companies, all of which are dormant.
As for K&C investment, Sinvula's declaration of interest indicated his family's exit from the company.