ONGWEDIVA - Helao Nafidi mayor Darius Shaalukeni has hit back at critics against the reappointment of CEO Inge Ipinge, saying age is not a factor for someone to be employed on a contract basis. Ipinge is well over 60 years and has been CEO of the local authority since 2011.
“The contract labour [rule] does not specify how old a person should be. There is nothing illegal about that,” Shaalukeni said.
Shaalukeni also refused to dwell on whether the town’s council has written to the minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni to approve Ipinge’s stay.
“It is not like you just write, council has taken many resolutions and those that have personal matters I will not divulge,” said Shaalukeni.
Affirmative Repositioning (AR) activist, Job Amupanda recently took to social media to denounce Ohangwena town’s alleged intention to reappoint its CEO.
Amupanda said the council has written to Uutoni to approve the extension of Ipinge’s contract.
“We will surely monitor how this corrupt arrangement will be
implemented and concluded with the resolve to fight it. Would they ever stop corruption?” Amupanda asked.
While maintaining that the issue at hand is private, Shaalukeni said it is comical that the public already knows what will happen after Ipinge’s contract ends in August.
He maintained that council has not started to hunt for Ipinge’s successor and will do so when her contract ends.
He said once the position becomes vacant, it will be advertised, and all due processes will be followed.
He, however, said, while that is the case, the appointment of the CEO remains council’s prerogative.
“I don’t know where the people are getting this from. The appointment of the CEO is the council’s prerogative. That prerogative is not even with the minister. The minister only approves and makes recommendations,” said Shaalukeni.
“But as I said, this is a personal matter, it is not be discussed in public hence at this stage I cannot give you details,” said the mayor.
Ipinge did not respond to questions sent on Monday at the time of going to print, while attempts to reach Uutoni proved futile.
New Era understands the council wants to keep her short-term contract because the majority of the current councillors are new.