Thikusho’s contract extended until retirement

30 July 2021 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe



RUNDU

The Kavango East Regional Council has extended the contract of its chief regional officer, Ludwig Thikusho (58), by a further 18 months, Namibian Sun has learnt.

This was confirmed by the chairperson of the council’s management committee, Damian Maghambayi, this week.

Thikusho’s initial five-year contract lapsed in March; however, the previous council - under the chairmanship of former Mukwe Constituency councillor John Thiguru - initiated the process to extend it.

The decision was passed on 23 November 2020, two days before the regional and local authority elections.

When contacted for comment yesterday, Thiguru said the previous council had a number of options which included another five-year term for Thikusho, but opted for 18 months.

“That is what we have decided. We looked at many things but then we said we cannot extend it for the next five years or so, but let’s cut it,” Thiguru remarked.

Namibian Sun understands a second term for Thikusho was discouraged by the fact that he is approaching retirement age.

Consultations

While some have opposed the contract extension, citing the state of the region as well as high poverty and youth unemployment levels, Maghambayi said the previous council consulted the urban and rural development minister, Erastus Uutoni, on the extension, which was agreed upon.

He said Uutoni responded to council last December saying he sees nothing wrong with extending Thikusho’s contract, but advised that council approach the Public Service Commission for further advice.

Maghambayi said the council wrote to the Public Service Commission and only on 29 January received go-ahead to extend the contract.

On 24 February during a council meeting, Thikusho was informed about the council’s intention to retain his services for 18 months, which he accepted.

However, informing Thikusho of the extension was done days before his contract ended - which is contrary to Section 25 subsection 10 (A) (2) (b) of the Regional Councils Act of 1992, which stipulates that this should have been done at least two months before his contract expired.

“The regional council shall, at least two calendar months before the expiry of any term of office or any extended term of office contemplated in subsection (1), in writing inform the chief regional officer concerned of its intention to retain him or her in service for an extended term, or not,” the Act read.

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