Gibeon CEO resigns after absenteeism accusations

The Gibeon Village Council (GVC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Desire Theunissen resigned from her position last week Friday after she was allegedly confronted by the village council for absenteeism.

According to the Chairperson of the GVC Anna Justine Garoes, Theunissen did not fulfil her duties since she was appointed as the CEO, she told The Villager.

“We have been having problems with her ever since her appointment. It is either she does not show up for work for a number of days or she would not agree with any collective decision taken by the councilors for development of the town. She has also disappointed the council for being absent when the auditors came in for auditing. She did not show up as the person responsible for the council’s administration,” she said.

She accused the CEO of incompetence and that she immediately resigned after the council confronted her.  

Garoes further explained that the councilors had to put in more efforts to bring down the escalating water bills of the community.

“The members of the community owed the council more than N$10 million dollars and we had taken a collective decision to cut costs by not allowing any of the employees to travel in order not to pay subsistence and travel allowance to employees. We did successfully manage to bring the debt down to N$7 million after the decision was taken. She did not agree with the council on the decision,” she said. 

She added Theunissen wrote to the council asking to be reinstated as CEO after she had already resigned, only to be turned down.

She then threatened to take the council to court, Garoes alleged.

Garoes said, “We do not have a choice but to let her go forward with her decision to challenge the council in court. We have submitted all our complaints to the governor and a meeting was called. She was then told about the complaints brought forward against her and after the meeting with the governor she handed in her resignation letter.

When contacted for a comment Theunissen blamed her resignation on in-fighting.

“It has been going on for two years. I got tired for the infighting. Whoever you have interviewed is lying to you. I have legal cases against the village council. I have reported the matter to the regional council and the line ministry as well. It is not about being absent without leave. They must show that I was absent without leave if they say so. Why would I leave a job because I was confronted for being absent without leave? There were things that were done that undermined my authority,” she said. 

She added that she was removed from signatory power in 2016 and that is one of the reasons why she decided to resign. 

Theunissen also said, “I was constantly being accused of mismanagement of the village council resources and I really got tired and resigned.”