• August 13th, 2020

Bukalo CEO contract in limbo



Lawyers representing Bukalo village council CEO Martin Limbo have threatened to drag the council to court if it fails to renew their client’s contract which ends on 31 May.

In a letter dated 6 May seen by New Era, which is addressed to Bukalo village council chairperson Candy Namatama, Chris Mayumbelo & Co are demanding the renewal of their client’s fixed term contract of employment on its expiry on 31 May 2020, for a further period of five years that would end on 31 May 2025 if it renewed.

“Your council’s minutes of the meeting of 17 February 2020 where a purported decision was taken not to renew the fixed term contract of our client were not taken, or caused to be taken in line with the provision of section 15 (1) of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act No.23 of 1992) as amended,” the letter reads.

Council suspended Limbo on 7 October 2016, with full benefits and was subsequently dismissed on 17 August 2017.
Limbo registered the first dispute with council after exhausting all internal appeals even with the regional council management committee from 19 September 2017.

The matter went through the Labour Court from thereon until 14 June 2019 when it was finalised.
Limbo won the labour case and was reinstated with effect from 1 October 2019.
By the time, he was only left with eight months of his initial contract ending on 31 May this year, as he started on 1 June 2015. 

Therefore, the lawyers argued the same council that does not want to renew it, interrupted their client’s contract. 
“Our client’s contract of employment with your council was cut short and interrupted by your same council, when on 7 October 2016, you had suspended him without ministerial approval for section 29 (6) (b) of the Local Authorities At, 1992 (Act No. 23 of 1992) as amended later when the same council unfairly dismissed him. Council subjected him to more than two and half years of inhumane suffering until the matter was concluded at arbitration in the Labour Court on 14 June 2019 and ruled in his favour,” the lawyers argued. 
The lawyers requested the village council to desist from its action by Wednesday or else face a High Court application for an interdict.
The Labour Court date is today for arbitration.

One of the council members, who refused to be mentioned, yesterday said council also offered no reasons in the letter why they are not renewing Limbo’s contract and there is no misconduct or any other disciplinary matters currently pending against him. 
“Even the relationship between Limbo and the chairperson and some other council members has never been bitter since he returned. Limbo’s contract was not performed to its entirety, that’s why he has taken the case back to the Labour Court and engaged his lawyers. They won’t win that case,” the council member noted.

Contacted for comment, Limbo could not confirm nor deny, but refused to comment referring all questions to the village council.
In return, the council chairperson refused to comment on the issue, saying she is not mandated to share any information with the media.
She however admitted that council deliberated on Limbo’s contract.
After Limbo won the case last year, the court ordered that he be paid N$687 164 for financial losses while on unfair dismissal.

anakale@nepc.com.na


 


Albertina Nakale
2020-05-19 11:05:24 | 2 months ago

1 Comments

  1. User
    francis Siyauya

    It is so embarrassing that in most cases, Hon Councillors [chairpersons of councils] fails to resolve their issues with CEO's, it's a daily tendencies that boardroom issues are solved through the media and in labour courts country wide. In this case, Bukalo Village Council recorded a tremendous launch of capital projects within a short period of time during the return of the then current CEO, but am saddened for the mere fact that, the same Hon Councillors wants him gone, in fact, what developmental initiatives did those Hon Councillors recorded and implemented to date? High unemployment rate is so high in Bukalo, the CEO has moved things in a short time, luckily, some of the residents are now employed to the new company contracted to build the Bukalo Open Market. Bukalo Hon Councillors should be grateful and if possible, apologizes to Mr. Limbo, the same council booted him out, suspended him and then fired him, ooch that's inhuman acts. Every one has the right to work. Personal issues should be out, let the Bukalo council CEO run the administrations affairs of the council and implement capital projects and the Hon Councillors should stick to their Political duties. All these in fights will derail the development of the village and no investor will spend him/her money in a sour environment whereby Council is a battlefield each day. I hope all concerned parties seats down and resolve this matter.