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It has been a toxic environment – Windhoek CEO Kahimise says


City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kahimise, has opened up to Eagle FM about why he was leaving the municipality highlighting that the environment was too toxic for him to continue.

Kahimise said personal attacks directed towards him by his colleagues as well as the deteriorating relationship he had with city police boss; Abraham Kanime had taken a toll on him.

“I think in terms of the toxic level of the city, I knew before I came. I was appointed to deal with a toxic environment. Someone needed to do that job. I am walking away with my head held high,” he said.

Kahimise says he has done 80% of what was expected of him.

“We have done a culture survey for the period that I was here. Yes, it is a toxic organisation. But we have put in intervention plans,” he said.

This comes as negotiations are underway for his exit with strong feelings that the City council may push him off the cliff before his resignation date, the 31st of October.

But Kahimise says his hope is to hang on and leave as per his plan, saying that if he is to be fired, the council will have to pay him compensation.

“I have submitted my notice, so the intention is to leave at the end of October and that is provided in my agreement with the council, and it is also equally provided as it was mentioned by the mayor that either of the party can engage the other party if they so feel to relieve the other party early, but surely with compensation.

If I want to leave earlier than the three months’ notice then I have to compensate council and equally if the employer wants me to leave early, they have to compensate me for the notice then I can leave early. So, it is based on any outcome of that negotiation,” he said.

Kahimise says he will not give up on the court cases that have pitted him against the municipal leadership.

He himself has been sued for “irregularly” awarding himself a study loan, a charge he has denied.

“I think my reputation is intact. That’s why you have not seen me responding, I have no doubt about what I have done, not at all. My credibility is very high. I have come here as a highly ethical leader only promoting the interest of the public. Whatever I have taken to court was in the public interest. It’s a pure illegal decision that was taken by the council. I have nothing to hide. Those court cases will continue whether I am here or not,” he said.

He said it could be that council wants to get a new acting CEO and that is why it wants to get rid of him in order to withdraw the court cases.

Julia Heita

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