Mushelenga intervenes in Omuthiya standoff

09 August 2019 | Government

Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga has given the Omuthiya town council two weeks to motivate their decision not to renew the employment contract of town CEO Samuel Mbango.

Mbango has taken the council to the labour court for unfair treatment.

The council is said to be divided, with some councillors in favour of and others against Mbango's reappointment.

During a council meeting on 3 June, the councillors resolved not to renew Mbango's contract.

“Four councillors - mayor Katrina Uusiku and her deputy Heskiel Nanyeni, management committee chairperson Beata Nashongo and committee member Enos Shipahu - all voted against Mbango and they gave us the reason that he is not wanted by the residents,” said a source.

In a letter dated 2 August, Mushelenga urged the councillors to provide him with a detailed report on their decision before 19 August.

Mayor Uusiku could not be reached for comment as she did not answer her cellphone.

Mbango, who has been at the helm of the institution since the town council was established, confirmed that his contract was expiring at the end of this month and would not be renewed.

He said he had reported the matter to Mushelenga as well as the labour commissioner, but declined to give any further information.

It has been reported that Mbango's letter to Mushelenga on 10 June listed alleged irregularities by the top four councillors – Uusiku, Nanyeni, Nashongo and Shipahu - whom he accused of leasing plots to themselves without ministerial approval.

A source in the council said Mbango's matter was heard by the labour court at Ondangwa this week and was postponed to next month.

“Mayor Uusiku and chairperson of the management committee, Beata Nashongo, were there representing the council and they requested for the matter to be postponed to next month to provide the court with all the details,” the source said.

“By law, the CEO was supposed to be given three months' notice that his contract would not be renewed, but he was given only two months.

He was supposed to be given his letter in May, but in this case it was given to him on 10 June,” the source added.

ILENI NANDJATO

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