19 October 2018

Namibia: Council Resolves to Suspend Kahimise

CITY of Windhoek councillors have decided to suspend the municipality's chief executive officer,z Robert Kahimise, over a study loan he took without approval.

Several sources told The Namibian yesterday that the councillors had decided to suspend Kahimise during a council meeting on Wednesday.

The Namibian this week reported that the CEO was being questioned over a close to N$170 000 loan paid towards his studies allegedly without approval from the council's management committee, as required.

Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua yesterday denied knowledge of the decision to suspend the CEO, saying he did not attend the council meeting.

"I was not part of that meeting, and I was not informed about that. So, I don't know what you are talking about," the mayor responded.

Kahimise, who attended the meeting, yesterday also said that he was not aware of the decision as he had to excuse himself when the matter of his study loan came up for discussion.

"I cannot comment on that. You will have to contact Teckla Uuwanga as she was chairing the meeting," the chief executive added.

Uuwanga could not be reached for comment as she did not answer several calls to her phone, while she also did not respond to questions sent to her via text messaging.

Nudo city councillor Joseph Kauandenge yesterday confirmed to The Namibian that the council had resolved to write to the line minister to inform him of their decision to suspend the CEO and state the charges against him.

The Local Authorities Act provides that the council has the power to relieve the chief executive of his or her duties. This is done in consultation with the urban and rural development minister.

Kahimise applied for financial assistance in February this year, and was granted a 50% refundable interest-free study loan and special leave in terms of the council's training and development policy.

The issue of his study loan is said to have divided the council into two groups and resulted in infighting, predominantly along tribal lines.

One group is said to support Kahimise's camp, while the other is rooting for City Police boss Abraham Kanime - whom Kahimise suspended earlier this year. The Namibian recently reported that Swapo councillors recommended Kahimise's suspension over the interest-free study loan.

The councillors went as far as writing to urban development minister Peya Mushelenga on 10 October 2018 to propose the suspension.

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