The mayor of Windhoek has accused her predecessor Job Amupanda of tarnishing the image, reputation and integrity of the city by sharing parts of a page showing acting chief executive officer Jennifer Comalie signing a document to both recommend and approve its content.
According to a media release issued by mayor Sade Gawanas, the document in question is a portion of an internal memorandum in which Comalie is recommending it in her capacity as the substantive strategic executive for finance and customer services, as well as approving it in her capacity as the acting CEO.
Amupanda shared the page with the signatures with a comment, “for students of corporate governance, here is an interesting case for you to consider. You take two chairs, you lock yourself in an office. You recommend to yourself while seated on the first, and you move to another to approve your recommendation.”
Gawanas said the circulated memorandum on social media implied that there was a breach in corporate governance practices, and that the acting CEO acted erroneously and in an irregular manner. “The actions and intentions of Amupanda are misleading and unfortunate as the city has internal structures and processes in place where internal stakeholders can engage and nurture a mutually conducive working relationship,” she stated. Gawanas further said it is disappointing that Amupanda posted the approval by Comalie on social media without doing any due diligence, at the same time trying to tarnish the image, reputation and integrity of the city and the acting CEO. The mayor explained that the memorandum shared was related to the appointment of an official to act in the position of strategic executive for finance and customer services.
“Following the City of Windhoek’s personnel rules (conditions of service), it is required that the acting appointment be provided in writing by the CEO or the substantive strategic executive of the relevant department. In this case, due to both positions being occupied by Comalie, and keeping in mind that the acting position in question reports to the CEO, the memorandum signatory page made provision for the required signatures and was executed accordingly, with a recommendation and directive received from the city’s human capital and corporate services’ department. The process followed complied with council policies and practices,” she said. Gawanas added that the suggestive interpretation of the social media post and the fact that it had been shared with no consideration of the full context and subject is unfortunate. Approached for comment, Amupanda gave short shrift to his successor’s accusation.
“I am very busy as I have a lot of matters that require my attention, particularly the programmes for the youth in villages that I am planning. I generally don’t get concerned about the opinions of individuals who want to be seen as involved in some engagement with me to get popular. My table is full. I can’t possibly make time for a storm in a cup of tea,” he said.