Kahimise fails at High Court again

12 February 2019 | Justice

An urgent application filed by Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise to halt procedures for a possible third suspension failed in the Windhoek High Court on Friday.

Acting Judge Claudia Claasen ruled that a labour dispute filed by Kahimise last year following his second suspension in November, had become redundant after that suspension was lifted by City Council and he returned to work in late January.

Claasen struck the matter from the roll after agreeing with arguments brought by the City of Windhoek Council's legal team that the High Court does not have jurisdiction to deal with Kahimise's urgent application in terms of the Labour Act and an ongoing dispute before the labour commissioner.

Kahimise had sought an interdict to put a pause on a pre-suspension hearing to which he was invited after his return to work, and the waiving aside of this second suspension.

Arguing on behalf of the council, lawyer Geoffrey Dicks said Kahimise was asking the High Court not only to prevent a pre-suspension hearing, but also to order council to stop any further suspensions, pending the outcome of the labour dispute instituted on 8 November.

Claasen ruled that “given the current position of the application that his suspension has been lifted, he is reinstated and back at work, I find there is no dispute pending before the labour commissioner.”

Kahimise was informed on 24 January that council at a special meeting that day had resolved to “set aside the decision to suspend you”.

He was asked to report for duty on 25 January.

On the same day, he was given a notice of suspension, and asked to make a personal representation against being suspended on 29 January.

The Windhoek High Court temporarily put a pause on that meeting, after Kahimise had filed an urgent application.

Namibian Sun was informed that a new date for a special council meeting to resolve the way forward on Kahimise as well as suspended City Police Chief Abraham Kanime, has not been set yet.

Last week a special council meeting was postponed, most likely in order to gain a legal opinion related to a directive given by President Hage Geingob to stop the volley of suspensions and for the City to focus on service provision.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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