The rift within the Grootfontein municipality has widened after the local authority this week slapped its finance executive Ileni Hainghumbi with charges of misconduct and insubordination. Hainghumbi said he was unfazed over the charges.
The municipality on Wednesday issued a statement in which it dispelled alleged social media posts of Hainghumbi in which he disputed he was ever issued with a charge sheet for misconduct. “Council has decided to commence with charges against Mr I.T Hainghumbi on charges amongst other relating to serious allegations of misconduct under his supervision,” read the statement. Municipal CEO Kisco Sinvula, when contacted for comment, said council is still carrying out internal investigations based on charges of January 2019 when Hainghumbi was charged and suspended. Hainghumbi was later reinstated in April but since then, no disciplinary action was taken.
“We have now received authorisation from the ministry and will begin to institute disciplinary action, with additional charges likely to be added,” stated Sinvula without going into details.
New Era reported at the time that Hainghumbi was charged for allegedly making payments to various companies without approval of either the municipal council or the town’s acting CEO. He was further charged for contravening a council resolution which requires that all payments on behalf of the municipality be approved or authorised by the acting CEO as accounting officer. According to the charge sheet, Hainghumbi made payments of close to N$500 000 without such approval.
The municipality also accuses Hainghumbi of making payments to Rio Engineering and Construction CC while fully aware of the penalty deduction and without the council’s approval to the tune N$175 500 for 117 days, which amount was due to be withheld or deducted in terms of a clause in the contract.
“On or about 8 June 2018 and at Grootfontein, you, while being fully aware of the penalty deductions and without council approval, authorised another reversal or payment to Rio Engineering and Construction CC, the penalty deductions for work delayed in the amount of N$69 000 for 46 days, which amount was due to be withheld or deducted by the municipality in terms of Clause 43 of the relevant extract of the agreement,” stated the charge sheet.
Hainghumbi is also charged for insubordination after allegedly refusing an instruction by the CEO not to pay over penalty deductions to Rio Engineering and Construction CC for the delay of work as those penalties were due to be deducted by the municipality.
Approached for comment, a defiant Hainghumbi hit back at the council asking why his issue was of interest while they were initially supposed to be three charged for the same transgressions. He accused Sinvula of having a personal vendetta against him. Hainghumbi said he refused to pay a three-month allowance to the CEO’s personal assistant who he argues was brought in unprocedurally. “Over a year since I was reinstated nothing happened, now that I speak out against their irregularities I am being targeted, for carrying out my duties and tasks. The CEO is only here for three months but he now has issues with everyone, including majority of councillors, so am I still the bad one again,” countered Hainghumbi. “All I can say is God will punish them one by one, just like what happened to the management committee chairperson who was recently arrested. He was one of those that orchestrated my suspension last year.” – firstname.lastname@example.org