Kamseb enjoys 19 months paid 'special leave'

04 June 2018 | Government

Kunene chief regional officer (CRO) George Kamseb remains on “special leave” after 19 months, while earning his full salary and benefits. He has since turned to farming, while raking in government money each month.

Urban and rural development minister Dr Peya Mushelenga told Namibian Sun his ministry has submitted its report and recommendations to the regional council and is waiting for a feedback.

“The truth is that we conducted an investigation into various suspected irregularities at the Kunene regional council and submitted a report to that regional council on 2 March for the council to take action.

“We are still waiting for a feedback from the regional council on action taken. The investigations were done by a team consisting of our internal auditor and others who physically went to table the report to council,” Mushelenga said.





He, however, could not divulge what action had been recommended.

Kunene governor Marius Sheya confirmed the council has received the report.

He did not say what action had been decided.

“The issue is being dealt with by the members involved. However, we cannot talk about it through the media. The regional council is facilitating the process and we hope it will yield good results, so that things can get back to normal,” Sheya said.

Kamseb told Namibian Sun he is enjoying special leave granted to him by the regional council in October 2016 and made it clear he is not on suspension.

A source informed Namibian Sun that after the council investigation was completed Kamseb was informed to report for work.

However, he allegedly refused to come back without being given a reason why he was forced to take leave in the first place.

After being out of work for a year and seven months, Kamseb has now become a fulltime farmer.

He said since he left his office nothing was communicated to him on paper by the council.

“I am not suspended, but I have been put on leave from the council. I am still waiting to hear from them. Until now I am out of the office,” Kamseb said.

On 19 October 2016, the council served Kamseb with a letter ordering him to stay away until further notice. However, his suspension or special leave was ruled as illegal by the Public Service Commission (PSC) two months later.

Last year PSC chairperson Marcus Kampungu told Namibian Sun the council made a mistake by suspending Kamseb without consulting them.

“We received the suspension request from Kunene in November 2016, a month after they had suspended him. However, we rejected the request to suspend him. For us to suspend there must be grounds that the official in question could interfere with investigations, but in their request there were no grounds for this,” Kampungu said.

He added they advised the council to charge Kamseb while he was still on duty, but it never reverted. According to a well-placed source, Kamseb was suspended after allegedly failing to provide the council with his employment contract, and he is now enjoying his salary and benefits at his farm.

The Regional Council Act No 22 of 1992, read together with the Public Servant's Act No 2 of 1980, do not specify an official's term of suspension.

Various directors in the regional council have been acting in Kamseb's position.

ILENI NANDJATO

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