Namibia: Opposition Laments Delays in Tsumeb CEO Recruitment

Omuthiya — IPC councillors in the Tsumeb municipality have lamented the prolonged process in the recruitment of a substantive CEO, nearly a year after interviews and shortlisting were done.

Council has been without a CEO for more than two years since the departure of former executive Alfeus Benjamin in December 2018.

"We are very frustrated with the manner the process was undertaken and its longevity. There is no way a municipality will operate optimally when there is no competent, substantive head. This prolonged period of acting CEO has just created chaos, as others are complaining why there is no rotation. These issues have been raised on numerous occasions but the Swapo management has resolved otherwise," said Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) councillor Absalom Uukule.

"It is just also bad for the human resource (HR) personnel to be ignoring, refusing to divulge information to opposition councillors when requested do so. We are new but can't be given the necessary information we need," lamented another IPC councillor, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The municipality has been struggling to secure a suitable candidate, and this process was further prolonged after a recommended contender rejected the offer in 2019 after the first round of the hunt. This prompted a re-advertisement of the position the same year. In 2020, interviews and shortlisting were conducted; however, the appointment has not been finalised, pending ministerial approval. New Era is reliably informed there were four candidates shortlisted for interviews, which included the now late former governor of Erongo Cleophas Mutjavikua. Other candidates were two women - a former NIP executive and a Telecom employee - who, however, fell short of scoring 60% and above, thus leaving one male contender to be likely appointed, according to an inside source.

Uukule said council held a meeting last week, where the HR officer was tasked to enquire about the progress.

"What we also understand is that the recommendation is no longer with the ministry, as it has been forwarded to the state for security clearance. So, we don't know how long it will take; hence, we await feedback from HR," added Uukule.

Deputy Mayor Anmire Garises is equally not pleased with the status quo, saying some of the things cannot move forward due to the absence of the CEO. She also emphasised the non-rotation of the acting CEO position, saying no unqualified person should act for too long. Mayor Mathews Hangula told New Era in February that council resolved not to rotate the acting position because the incumbent was found to be competent.

Management committee chairperson Ingenencia David declined to comment.

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