• July 10th, 2020

Bukalo CEO refuses to give up office

The Bukalo village council CEO, Martin Limbo, has allegedly refused to vacate office, despite his contract having come to an end last month. Limbo’s employment contract came to an end on 31 May and the council did not extend it. 
Bukalo village council chairperson Candy Namatama confirmed that council did not extend Limbo’s contract. She said Limbo refused to hand over his office keys, despite the fact that he was served with a non-renewal of his employment contract notice by the council on 24 February. In a notice to Limbo, Namatama wrote that in terms of section 27 (b) (i) of the Local Authorities Act 1992 as amended and per council, resolution was taken during a special meeting held on 17 February 2020, where the council took a decision not to extend Limbo’s employment contract. 
Namatama said the council is waiting for legal advice from the government attorneys on the way forward. Contacted for comment, Limbo denied that council ever served him with a notice to vacate the office, saying maybe he is yet to receive it. 

“I am not in the office. I had just been going there to print some documents, as I was required to finalise my report for a handing and taking over. I’m not even yet informed as to whether they appointed anybody in acting capacity or whether they are waiting for the ministry to send someone whom I must hand over,” Limbo responded. 

“All I know is that the minister has refused the decision of council not to renew the contract and a letter from his office to that effect will be sent this week to me to stay. As soon as I get it, I will send it to you. I believe he will also direct it to them.” 
In an attempt to have his contract extended, Limbo took the council to the labour court, where the matter has been set down for a conciliation meeting for an arbitration hearing. The set date for the hearing will be on 1-3 September at Katima Mulilo. 
In a letter, dated 6 May and seen by New Era, which is addressed to Bukalo village council chairperson, 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 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 was 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 the 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. 
His lawyers argued the same council that does not want to renew Limbo’s stay interrupted his contract. – anakale@nepc.com.na

Albertina Nakale
2020-06-16 10:12:36 | 23 days ago

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