By: Justicia Shipena
Urban and rural development deputy minister Natalia /Goagoses has called on the City of Windhoek (CoW) to appoint a suitable candidate for the chief executive officer (CEO) position.
/Goagoses made these remarks during an information session with the CoW.
According to her, this would execute the council resolutions and deliver services to the residents.
“Why is the City of Windhoek sitting on this for several years? Please forgive each other and look at the best suitable candidate to appoint as soon as possible so we can move on,” she said.
She stressed that the resolutions by the council are taking too long to be executed.
“Your resolutions cannot be as executed timely because simply you don’t have an accounting officer. Forgive, move on and get a Namibian, any Namibian that you deem suitable for your institution that can come out and dig and bring issues to the council; let’s do that and do it very quickly,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, when The Villager reached out to the City on how far it is with the appointment, the spokesperson Herold Akwenye said they are waiting for the council to pronounce itself.
“We are just waiting for the council to pronounce themselves, so definitely in the next council meeting, they will do so.”
In September 2020, former CEO Robert Kahimise, while leaving the municipality, highlighted that the environment was too toxic for him to continue.
At that time, negotiations were underway for his exit, with strong feelings that the City council may push him off the cliff before his resignation date. He was also sued for irregularly awarding himself a study loan.
The CoW then appointed an acting CEO George Mayumbelo.
In October 2021, Mayumbelo had disclosed that he was working closely with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigating officials accused of corruption in the municipality.
He had accused some management committee members of trying to remove him from his acting post unprofessionally.
Additionally, Mayumbelo also said he must not be understood to be fighting to cling on to the position, claiming that if he is to be removed, it must be done as per the procedure.
Media reports show that Mayumbelo was not in good books with the former CEO Kahimise. At the same time, Kahimise had also applied to come back but was not shortlisted.
In November 2021, CoW appointed its strategic executive for finance and customer services, Jennifer Comalie, as its new Acting CEO for three months.
Comalie took over from Mayumbelo, acting in the position since November 2020.
Mayumbelo then reverted to his substantive position of Strategic Executive for Human Capital and Corporate Services.
The appointment had come as the city battles to find a substantive replacement for Kahimise, who resigned in 2020 after four years at the helm.
Before appointing Comalie, interviews were held with five candidates shortlisted for the position, and public presentations were conducted to motivate why they should be considered for appointment.
Despite this and Otjiwarongo CEO Moses Matyayi and Roads Authority CEO Conrad Lutombi emerging as preferred candidates, no appointment has been made to date.
Meanwhile, In May 2022, CoW mayor, Sade Gawanas, rejected councillor Job Amupanda’s submission that the hunt for a substantive CEO has been riddled with corruption and a desire to protect the interests of the management committee.
Amupanda had accused the management committee of using the strength of numbers to hijack the recruitment process to suit its agenda.
He also called on the management committee to call off the CEO’s recruitment.
However, Gawanas insisted that everything that has been done so far has been above board.
She said the committee, led by Amupanda, resolved that the selection process for the CEO last year be redone; however, they were supposed to report back to the council as to their duties under Section 21 of the Local Authorities Act, but this did not happen.
In the same month, the CoW appointed O’Brien Hekandjo as the acting CEO taking over after Comalie.