An attempt by City of Windhoek chief executive officer Robert Kahimise to obtain a court order to have his suspension lifted and get reinstated in his post has failed to get over the first hurdle in the Labour Court.
The case Kahimise lodged against the Municipal Council of Windhoek, 10 of the local authority's councillors and the urban development minister on 9 November did not meet the requirements to be heard on an urgent basis, acting judge Collins Parker ruled after hearing oral arguments only on the urgency of the matter - or lack of it - in the Windhoek Labour Court this morning.
Kahimise took legal action after the Windhoek City Council decided on 5 November to suspend him from his post for three months.
That decision to suspend Kahimise was the second one taken by the city council in a matter of three weeks. The council first decided on 17 October to suspend Kahimise in connection with an allegation that he had received funding from the City of Windhoek for doctoral studies at institutions in Israel and France, without the council's management committee giving proper approval for that study aid.
Kahimise was notified of his suspension on 22 October. Having received correspondence from Kahimise's lawyer, Patrick Kauta, who charged that Kahimise had not been given an opportunity to be heard before he was suspended and that the suspension was unlawful and irregular, the management committee decided on 25 October to withdraw the letter in which he had been informed of his suspension.
Kahimise was also informed he was being reinstated - but only eight days later, on 2 November, he was again informed that the council intended to suspend him.
With his urgent application having been refused today, Kahimise will have to pin his hopes for getting his job back on the Office of the Labour Commissioner, where he has lodged a labour dispute with the city.
*Get a detailed report in the next edition of The Namibian.