Kanime threatens court action

Windhoek City Police chief Abraham Kanime has accused the city council of deliberately delaying his disciplinary process.

11 April 2019 | Government

Suspended City Police chief Abraham Kanime has accused the City of Windhoek of unfairly dragging out his disciplinary process and delaying his reinstatement for no plausible reason.

Kanime this week warned that he was ready to approach the High Court unless the City lifted his year-long suspension and set a final date for a disciplinary hearing.

“I want the case to be finalised. They tarnished my image and I need my name to be cleared,” he told Namibian Sun this week.

In early March, Kanime's lawyers sent a letter to the City demanding a date for the hearing and the lifting of his suspension.

“Our client's suspension has become unfair and completely unnecessary,” his lawyer charged.

He accused City officials of deliberately delaying the matter.

“Because the investigation has been completed, there is absolutely no reason for our client to remain on suspension,” Kanime's lawyer wrote.

Kanime said on Monday that the City has kept him in the dark since the last hearing held in November 2018.

“No one is coming back to me. I have no clue what is going on,” he said

He claimed that one of the charges against him was dropped at that hearing, and said he was ready to prove that the remaining charges were also unfounded.

City spokesperson Harold Akwenye on Monday said the issue was being dealt with “behind closed doors” but that a date for the disciplinary hearing would likely be announced soon.



Due process

Kanime said he was fed up with his lengthy suspension but was keen to finalise the matter in line with guidelines and regulations. He said it was unfair that he could not clear his name.

“It's total injustice; it's total victimisation. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Kanime said when he was suspended in late March 2018, “I accepted it because of governance guidelines. One really needs to give an opportunity for the process to take place. But it went beyond that.”





Nevertheless, he agreed that it was critical to allow the process take its course.

“It should be the standard in all cases that they (disciplinary processes) should be finalised,” he said.

He warned that failing to follow procedure could set an unwanted precedent and make it difficult to tackle corruption in future.

Kanime said in his view President Hage Geingob's January directive to reinstate him was an order to “expedite the matter” as per protocol, not to simply drop the charges.

“In terms of administrative law, if someone did something corrupt, he should be charged, or he should be cleared by the committee.”

“I want them to come up with a date as soon as possible for us to have a hearing. We need to conclude this matter.”



Delays

In February, Kanime's possible reinstatement was on the agenda for the monthly council meeting.

Akwenye said at the time that the president's directive had to be endorsed by a council resolution before it could be implemented.

In January, several weeks before the presidential directive, the City's top leadership was advised by a corporate legal advisor to reinstate Kanime. The lawyer said the suspension was dragging on although the investigation had been completed.

Moreover, the City was warned that the lengthy suspension was costing the municipality money.

Kanime said the impact of the suspension had affected all aspects of his life and he was keen to return to work.

“I like my work. It was my historic mission, after the liberation of the country, to make sure I acted in such a way to create a conducive environment for economic emancipation. But now the governing authority is victimising me for doing good,” he said.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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