Namibia: Swapo Wants Kahimise to Remain City Chief

Swapo's Khomas regional executive committee is pushing Windhoek municipal councillors to convince the city's chief executive officer, Robert Kahimise, to stay on.

Kahimise resigned from the troubled post in August this year to join the regional electricity distribution company Cenored as CEO from next month.

Talks are reportedly afoot to convince Kahimise to withdraw his resignation and stay on as Windhoek's CEO.

Three Windhoek municipal councillors met with Swapo's regional executive committee on Monday to discuss the issue.

The Namibian was informed the councillors who attended the meeting included mayor Fransina Kahungu, her deputy, Ian Subasubani, and councillor Teckla Uwanga, chairperson of the management committee.

The councillors would during the meeting brief the party's regional leadership on various issues at the municipality, including Kahimise's resignation and the ongoing case against City Police chief Abraham Kanime. Meriam Onesmus, Swapo's information secretary for the Khomas region, confirmed the meeting on Monday.

She said party strategies and plans for the upcoming regional council and local authority elections were discussed.

"We didn't have any other discussion," she said.

However, a person familiar with the meeting said Kamihise's resignation was one of the two items on the meeting's agenda.

Another reliable source said Kahungu told the meeting, chaired by Swapo's Khomas regional coordinator Elliot Mbako, that she wants Kahimise to withdraw his resignation and stay on as Windhoek's CEO.

The source said councillors said that if Kahimise agrees to stay on, he would be told to discontinue the charges he instituted against Kanime regarding the alleged mismanagement of public funds.

Kahungu is allegedly pushing for the city to drop eight charges against Kahimise, including the alleged unauthorised funding of his studies at institutions in Israel and France.

Kahimise's hearing was due to start on Monday and end on Friday this week. He, however, allegedly did not show up at the hearing on Monday.

Although Kahungu dodged questions on Monday's meeting, she said the issues regarding Kahimise's resignation are known.

She said as far as the council is concerned, Kahimise has tendered his resignation and that his last day at the helm of Windhoek would be 31 October.

She however said speeding up Kahimise's exit so that he could leave "earlier than planned" was on the cards.

"This was a recommendation of the management committee, and we were supposed to discuss that at the special council meeting that was supposed to take place on Friday, but the meeting could not take place. We will now discuss the issue at a rescheduled special council meeting this Thursday," she said.

Kahimise this week said he has not been approached by councillors with any proposition regarding his contract yet.

He said he has already accepted Cenored's offer and would leave the City of Windhoek as planned.

Some employees of the Windhoek municipality are, however, unhappy with the manner in which councillors are handling the issue of Kanime and Kahimise.

They believe the two are treated with kid gloves and that they would demonstrate if the city council accepts these conditions.

"Kanime resigned, they brought him back. Now that Kahimise has resigned, they want to bring him back. What is so special about Kanime and Kahimise?" a source asked.

"We have employees who were fired for committing petty crimes. There are also those who have pending disciplinary hearings. Will their charges be withdrawn?" the source added.

"Why would you spend public money to do forensic investigations into Kahimise and Kanime, and now you want to discontinue their disciplinary hearings?"

The source claimed the City of Windhoek has spent more than N$1 million on forensic investigations regarding Kanime and Kahimise.

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