Namibia: Bukalo Staff Unhappy With Acting CEO Appointment

THE appointment of Boniface Mutumba as the new acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the Bukalo Village Council in the Zambezi region is frowned upon by some staff members, as he is not a council employee.

Mutumba's appointment took place in June.

A council source says the appointment should be annulled and replaced with one "as per the laws of Namibia".

"The council has also violated the oath of office, whereby they agreed to abide and defend the laws of the Republic of Namibia. If not addressed, this issue will result in massive legal battles for the village council," the source says.

According to the Local Authorities Act, a staff member of a local authority should perform the duties of chief executive officer if this position is vacant, the source says.

The source says after a meeting held in May with minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni, it was resolved that the council would provide a list of candidates from the council for the position of acting chief executive officer.

"We were just informed by the chairperson, Simataa Mubonda, that the council resolved to appoint Dr Boniface Mutumba. However, such a decision by the Bukalo Village Council is ultra vires," the source says.

The source claims the council has not held a single special or ordinary meeting since members have been sworn in.

"If such meetings have taken place, they are illegal, as the minutes of such council meetings are neither verified nor authentic, because there was no chief executive officer or acting [CEO]," the source says.

Mubonda last week said Mutumba's appointment was done procedurally and in consultation with the minister, who approved the sourcing of a candidate from outside.

"The ministry, regional council and the local authority could not provide an acting chief executive officer as there was no one qualified for the vacancy. Therefore, we had to source from outside. We got three candidates of which Dr Mutumba was the successful candidate," he said.

Mubonda said Mutumba will be acting as CEO until former CEO Martin Limbo's case against the village council is resolved.

Uutoni could not be reached for comment.

The post of village council CEO has been vacant since Limbo's contract ended in May last year, and the council did not extend it.

Limbo, after being informed his contract would not be extended, took the village council to the Labour Court. In June 2020, the council appointed Chester Likando, an employee, as acting CEO.

Likando resigned after eight months, citing interference in the running of council administration, a lack of confidentiality and trust by the council, and the use of derogatory language by council members when addressing staff.

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