Namibia: Driver Demands N$1,1m for 'Illegal' Job Transfer

A KAVANGO East Regional Council (KERC) driver, who was dismissed from the council for allegedly being transferred in contravention of his conditions of employment, is claiming N$1 126 992 from the council.

This is due to the loss of income Alois Munango allegedly suffered after being stationed at Rundu from 2017 to July this year.

Munango was appointed as a driver in the Mukwe constituency on 6 June 2014 before he was dismissed for misconduct by the Kavango East Regional Council in December 2015.

He was dismissed while on leave for leaving his duty station before his supervisor approved his leave.

Munango took leave from 18 December 2015 until 18 January 2016.

He challenged his dismissal in the Labour Court and won his case against the regional council after the council failed to attend the hearing.

After this ruling, the regional council in a letter dated 28 July 2017 reinstated Munango at the Mukwe constituency office as of 24 December 2015.

The same letter, however, required that he report for duty at Rundu on 1 August 2017.

This was contrary to the instructions of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Munango has since been stationed at Rundu, which is 200 km from his home at Divundu.

He says he has for the past four years been seeking assistance with regards to accommodation from the regional council, but his pleas have been falling on deaf ears.

The Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) has intervened in the matter and they too claim to have been ignored by the KERC.

Munango, through his lawyer Bernard Tjatjara, argues his transfer to Rundu is in violation of the Labour Court's ruling.

Tjatjara demanded that the council reinstate his client at Mukwe within 30 days from 22 July, and to pay the amount claimed.

He threatened to institute further legal action through the High Court if necessary.

ARBITRATION AWARD

According to a witness account in the labour arbitration document seen by The Namibian, Munango's leave was signed off by his supervisor at the Mukwe constituency council on 17 December.

Despite this, Munango received a letter of dismissal at Rundu while tending to his sick father.

Munango's dismissal took place in the same month that the chief regional officer, Sebastian Kantema, retired.

It was also at the time that the KERC office was established after the Kavango region was split into two regions.

Arbitrator Sarafina Kandere argued that Munango was dismissed by the KERC, which did not exist at the time.

She further argued that the dismissal was irregular and unfair.

". . . the dismissal could have been unfair on the basis of dismissing an employee who committed misconduct with the previous employer," Kandere said.

The arbitrator then ordered the KERC to reinstate Munango in his position at Mukwe.

Additionally, the council was ordered to award him all the benefits he enjoyed before his dismissal.

The KERC was further ordered to pay Munango the income he has lost since his dismissal.

This was paid out in 2019.

On 29 June 2017, the PSC reinstated Munango in his position as a driver on a level of grade 12 on the Peromnes grading system.

Questions sent to chief regional officer Ludwig Thikusho went unanswered.

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