Former City of Windhoek chief executive officer (CEO), Robert Kahimise has been ordered by the High Court to explain why his application against the city’s council and management committee should not be dismissed.
In his personal capacity and as then CEO, Kahimise is suing the city council and its management committee for allegedly convening an illegal meeting, which took the decision to appoint Pahukeni Titus as acting CEO and extend the employment contract of Abraham Kanime as City Police head last year.
Kahimise, who filed the suit alongside the municipal council, is now alone after the council decided to not continue with the case and withdrew from the matter. In their withdrawal notice, the municipal council has offered to pay for Kanime’s legal cost in the case.
Last week, after the council filed the withdrawal notice, Judge Thomas Masuku ordered Kahimise to appear before the court or depose an affidavit explaining why the application should not be dismissed.
“The second applicant (Kahimise) is to appear in person by a legal practitioner and show cause by affidavit why this application should not be dismissed or some other sanction should not be imposed,” ordered Masuku.
The court further ordered the case to be postponed to 10 June for a status hearing.
Kahimise is seeking orders reviewing and setting aside the decision of the management committee on 28 April 2020 to appoint Titus as acting CEO.
He is also seeking an order that would review and set aside the decision to extend Kanime’s employment contract and all resolutions taken by the management committee.
The management committee, which was chaired by Fransina Kahungu, comprised of Moses Shikwa, Loide Kaiyamo, Emmanuel Paulus, Teckla Uuwanga, Ian Subasubani, Priska Kahuure, Ananias Niizimba, Hileni Ulumbu and Agatha Ashilelo.
According to court documents, on 28 April 2020, the management committee made a decision to retain Kanime in his old position, while they also resolved and approved the terms and conditions of his new employment contract.
However, Kahimise is claiming the resolutions taken during that meeting were unlawful since he did not call the meeting nor was he present as CEO.
“It is not in dispute that I did not issue the notice calling for the special management meeting dated 28 April 2020. I also did not determine the time and place for the said meeting. The meeting was entirely illegal and null and void,” said Kahimise.
He further claims the appointment of Titus to act in his capacity, as CEO, at the meeting was unlawful since he was fully capable of carrying out his duties.
In response to Kahimise’s application, then deputy mayor Ian Subasubani said the council acted within the legal bounds by reappointing Kanime. He also said the council elected Titus to act as CEO after Kahimise refused a directive from the chairperson of the council to call an urgent meeting to deal with the Kanime issue.
The management committee concluded that Kahimise was unwilling and unable to exercise his powers and perform his duties as CEO, which resulted in the appointment of Titus to act as CEO. As such, is appointment is not unlawful, according to Subasubani.
Subasubani further claimed Kahimise cannot launch an application on behalf of the city in any official capacity, as he is not duly authorised to do so.