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By:Kelvin Chiringa

Acting City of Windhoek chief executive officer (CEO), George Mayumbelo, has disclosed that he is working closely with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigating officials accused of corruption at the municipality.

After 23 years of service in the City, Mayumbelo finds himself at the centre of an attempted palace coup to depose him from the acting CEO’s position.

In a tell-all interview, he said his work with the ACC has made some officials uneasy, hence the attempts to get rid of him.

“Currently, I am so busy that I probably have to ask the ACC to pay me. They have given me so much work that I respond to corrupt people who want to corrupt the institution. I am providing information; I am providing documents as is required of me in the position I am in. Now, this is what is scaring several people,” he disclosed.

He has spoken for the first time this week after the leaking of the letter he wrote to the management committee chairperson, Ndeshihafela Larandja.

He accused Larandja and some management committee members of trying to remove him from his acting post unprofessionally.

Larandja remained tight-lipped over the issue saying at the time that her party restrained her.

Her mobile phone has not been answered, however, since the day they got back to work.

“The letter was not intended for the public. Unfortunately, the letter I wrote was leaked. But I am not bothered by that. The only way you can mitigate against these things is to be truthful at all times and do the right things,” he said.

He now hopes to come face to face with Larandja, whom he regards as the coup mastermind.

“The chairperson was restrained by her party, and we will probably speak now that the restraint has been lifted,” he said.

But Mayumbelo said he must not be understood to be fighting to cling on to the position. He said if he is to be removed, it must be done as per the procedure.

“There should not be a perception or suspicion that I am fighting for the position of the CEO or acting in that position. My concern is about ensuring that there is good corporate governance in this institution. And we must do everything necessary to stabilise the organisation,” he said.

He has told The Villager that, besides Larandja, he finds himself up in arms against a cabal that has attached itself to powerful figures at the City.

He said the same cabal wanted him chucked out soon after the local authority elections and created a hostile environment around him.

“The modus operandi of this clique is that they try to endear themselves with people who matter in the organisation to influence such people so that the organisation gets corrupted. Now that’s what has to be resisted.

“In my instance, even before the election results were out, this clique already was celebrating that they had reached out to certain politicians and incoming councillors and that it was for sure that I was going to be removed with the first council meeting, and it almost happened.

“I also noticed that every time I went to a meeting, it was rumoured that I was going to be removed.  That was made in a disrespectful and hostile manner towards me. I deserve respect, firstly because I am not young, and I am a professional. But I am also not an ordinary man or a coward that failed to do something for his country,” he said.

He said there had been a fresh attempt these past few days to torpedo him from his position in a dramatic fashion.

“The previous Tuesday, without acting transparently, there was an attempt to remove me and cause drama around how I am being released from acting. That’s what I have taken exception to. It’s not that I have to continue acting, but I think it could have been done transparently and without drama.”

It has come out that Mayumbelo was not in good books with the former CEO Robert Kahimise, who bailed out after labelling the municipality a toxic organisation.

Surprisingly, Kahimise had also applied to come back but was not shortlisted.

But Mayumbelo said the former CEO was the one that frustrated a disciplinary process surrounding allegations of misdemeanours.

“It’s public knowledge that Mr Kahimise resigned, but he faced disciplinary charges here, and he frustrated the process. So, the process could not conclude so that he could be vindicated. I am not facing disciplinary charges.

“If I belonged to another country, I would probably be celebrated as a hero. So, I was not a coward before independence, and I am not a coward now.  There was enough opportunity for me to be a coward, or for me to be a coward, so I can not be a coward now,” he said.

Kelvin Chiringa

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