Abraham Kanime has questioned the authority of Namibian Police inspector general to advertise his position when he still has nearly two years left on his recently signed employment contract.
In a directive issued on 21 July to heads of directorates within the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga called on all qualified candidates to apply for the position of head: City Police no later than 27 July. Ndeitunga gave the directive after having received a letter from City CEO, announcing the recruitment and selection processes to fill the position.
The incumbent, Kanime, through his lawyer Sisa Namandje on Friday wrote to Ndeitunga, indicating he is not authorised by law to call for applicants or to be involved in the selection process. Such functions, according to him, are bestowed unto the service selection committee, and Ndeitunga’s involvement is limited to the actual appointment.
Thus, Namandje demands Ndeitunga to withdraw the invitation. Failure to do so will result in an application with the high court on an urgent basis for the matter to be heard on 30 July.
Namandje indicated Kanime’s three-year contract ends in April 2023, and there is ongoing litigation instituted against Kanime by former City CEO Robert Kahimise, relating to the validity of his re-appointment.
In addition, there is an agreement with Windhoek municipality that Kanime would be engaged prior to the commencement of any recruitment processes to fill his position. This said agreement was reached on 7 July. “Of importance and significant in this respect is the fact that there is no court order that invalidates our client’s employment agreement that runs to April 2023. No declaratory order was sought to declare such an employment agreement as invalid nor was there any court order setting aside the employment agreement,” said Namandje.
He said should Kanime’s services be no longer required, Kanime is prepared to reach a settlement agreement to mutually terminate his employment on condition council pays his full salary for the remainder of his term.
In recent years, Kanime’s tenure as head of City Police has been clouded with controversy. He spent 14 months on suspension and faced 69 charges, including allegations that he made unauthorised payments to lawyers who represented him and the City Police members in cases against his employer.
The City, however, decided to withdraw all of the charges, including the unauthorised payments to lawyers, but not the 20 charges of misconduct concerning the alleged appointments of police officers without following the correct recruitment processes. February 2020, he was reinstated with an annual salary package of nearly N$2.5 million after he had resigned earlier that year. His re-appointment was questioned by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) councillor Ignatius Semba, who filed a case in the High Court, seeking an order to set aside Kanime’s re-appointment.
The High Court in April 2020, however, dismissed the matter due to lack of urgency.
On 19 November 2020, the parties reached an agreement that the dispute, as well as any and/or all ancillary matters pertaining to the aforesaid dispute, were fully and finally settled, and council shall appoint Kanime and/or another as the chief of City Police regularly, as per regulation 5 (1) of the Regulations for the Municipal Police Services made under the Police Act 19 of 1990.
Numerous attempts to obtain comment from Ndeitunga proved futile.