Namibia: Omuthiya Bigwigs Accused of Nepotism

22 October 2019

Omuthiyagwiipundi — Local authority councillors of Omuthiya Town Council are once again implicated in allegations of nepotism, following their alleged involvement in the recruitment of a human resources practitioner and an environmental health inspector.

It is alleged some councillors have refused to endorse the recommendation of the best candidates done by the panellists, reason being that those who came tops are not in their favour.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is already investigating the council on similar allegations.

In an anonymous letter leaked to New Era, destined for the ACC, the manager for human resources and finance Taimi Lungameni, mayor Katrina Uusiku, and management committee chairperson Beata Nashongo were mentioned as the culprits spearheading nepotism.

The letter states that, "the interviews were done at the end of August, 2019,now the council does not want successful candidates because it is not their favourites.

They want to redo everything without following proper procedures. There are regulations to follow and they are sidelining such for their own gain. The manager for human resources and finance; the mayor and management committee chairperson is doing this. They are meddling in the recruitment process while the Local Authority Act and Regulation prohibits them to do so."

New Era could however, not independently establish how many candidates were interviewed for the positions.

"I cannot comment on that right now, I can't really," responded Nashongo upon enquiry, while Lungameni on the other hand, instead insisted on knowing the sources and who authored the letter.

"Now you want to get information from me, but you do not want to tell me who came to tell you what you are asking me right now. On that basis, I will not comment anything," briefly stated Lungameni, adding that she does not deal with appointing employees.

This is not the first time allegations of nepotism are levelled against the council.

In June this year, the former CEO Samuel Mbango in a damning letter, revealed issues of mismanagement, corruption and nepotism within the council.

Lungameni was implicated in nepotism issues, when she was appointed as manager last year at the expense of an internal staff who scored the highest in the interview with 77.8 percent, whereas she got 66.6 percent.

Lungameni's appointment is said to have been spearheaded by Nashongo, who had argued that she was appointed based on Affirmative Action.

This comes at a time when council is in a legal tussle regarding the termination of Mbango's employment contract, who had instituted legal action for unfair dismissal.

The second round of the matter will be heard in the Labour Court of Ondangwa on 25 October for conciliation.

Last month, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga had advised council to follow procedures and avoid lawsuits. As it stands, the council have defied that advice, and has instead resolved to appoint a lawyer to represent them.

Based on the council resolution number CM59/10/2019, it approved the legal services of Kishi Shakumu & Co Inc. Legal Practitioners to represent the town council.

It was further resolved that, the legal costs will be sourced from a council vote, which reportedly has a balance of N$286 250.

Sacky Kadhila Amoomo legal practitioners will represent Mbango.

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