Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillor Bernardus Araeb has accused City of Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas of not being honest about investigations into Conrad Lutombi’s appointment as the city’s chief executive officer(CEO).
Confirmation of Lutombi’s appointment has been delayed by urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni until an investigation into claims that interviews for filling the CEO vacancy was marred with irregularities.
“It is exactly what it is. I can also confirm what the media is saying in that regard. As councillors we are not awareof these so-called investigations that they say weredone,” said Araeb.
His comments come in the wake of a spat between him and fellow Windhoek councillor Ivan Skrywer of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) which went viral on social media this week.
Last month Gawanas told the media that investigations into the appointment of Lutombi as the new CEO were done, papers submitted to the line minister, and that the City was just waiting for the minister’s approval of Lutombi as the new CEO.
However, Araeb contradicted the mayor, stating that he did not know when such investigations were done, and neither did he know what the findings were.
“The minister, the council and the public have been lied to. For them, the ball was in their hands to play fairand provide proof thereof,” the IPC councillor said.
Regarding the WhatsApp altercation with Skrywer, Araeb emphasised that he is a mature person and had great control over himself, noting that,”I have reacted in a calm manner”.
He stressed that all the drama happened on the city’s WhatsApp platform and not in public.
“It was within our platform where we could face each other and debate around the issue (of the appointment) and corrected each other,” Araebnoted.
On the city’s WhatsApp group Araeb appears to have shared the media reports which Skrywer took issue with.
Skrywer also told former city mayor Fransina Kahungu, who tried to tone down the conversation, to “go to hell”, while implying that Araeb is a bitter and jealous 60-year-old man with no direction.
Skrywer then uploaded a picture of Gawanas attending a mayoral event and a panel discussion that took place in Johannesburg.”I will share the link to the mayor’s panel soon, so the useless and bitter character can see Sade is on another level,” he noted.
Skrywer’s phone went unanswered numerous times when approached for comment.
In July, the city’s then management committee (MC) chairperson Ndeshihafela Larandja of IPC stated that the MC had the authority to restart the recruitment process if it believed that the interview panel was not transparent and that there were irregularities in the recruitment and selection process, or that the interview panel’s recommendations were not in the best interests of council.
Larandja had revealed that the MC discovered irregularities in the process, such as incorrectly counting the number of candidates who applied, the published advertisement not complying with regulations and the former acting CEO, George Mayumbelo being shortlisted.
“To be dealt with it in terms of the principles of legality, rationality, reasonableness and justifiability until such time that council pronounces itself, the management committee will not force the process to restart, and council will ensure due diligence,” Gawanes said.
This came after the city recommended Moses Matyayi, the current CEO of Otjiwarongo municipality, and Conrad Lutombi, the CEO of the Roads Authority, as the top two candidates for the position.