Conrad Lutombi, who was the front runner in the protracted recruitment process for the City of Windhoek’s CEO position, finally received the offer from council on Friday.
Lutombi told New Era that although he has received the offer, he is yet to study it to accept or reject it.
He received the offer after minister Erastus Uutoni was convinced by a clarification letter by mayor Sade Gawanas on 14 November 2022, citing there were no contraventions to legislation, and no irregularities could be construed to warrant the restarting of the process.
“I can confirm that I received the offer to join the City of Windhoek. However, we are still studying the offer. Should we accept the offer, the institution will share its top priorities moving forward,” he said.
Gawanas told Uutoni the investigations show there is no need to refer the matter back to the interview panel for reconsideration after the urban and rural development minister earlier this month asked council to explain corruption allegations they had levelled against the process during the initial recruitment process.
Earlier this year Lutombi threatened to drag the city to court if they do not complete the process.
Mayor Sade Gawanas assured Uutoni they have cleared the process of any irregularities.
Gawanas indicated the investigations into the allegations were concluded, and no irregularities that could be construed to warrant either the restarting of the process or the need to refer it back to the interview panel for reconsideration could be found.
“After the findings of the investigation inquiry, the management committee resolved to endorse the interview panel’s recommendation, which culminated in council unanimously resolving to endorse the interview panel’s recommendation as per council’s resolution,” she explained.
She also attempted to clarify the allegation of councillor Job Amupanda seeking the minister’s intervention in a letter dated 12 May 2022, following the previous management committee’s alleged inability to effectively manage the recruitment and selection effort.
“I would, however, wish to categorically state that at no point in time did Amupanda confiscate the recruitment file or list of candidates as alleged by the newspaper article and NALAWU,” she assured the minister.
On the allegation raised by Namibia Local Authority Workers’ Union (NALAWU), Gawanas explained NALAWU does not possess exclusive bargaining status, as no recognition agreement exists between the municipal council of Windhoek and NALAWU.
She said the allegations are incorrect.
The city has been without a substantive CEO since November 2020 after Robert Kahimise resigned to join Cenored.
The position was advertised, and five candidates were shortlisted for the interviews to present their short- and long-term strategic plans publicly, the first time that city executive candidates were interviewed on a public platform.
The public interviews were followed by a psychometric test.
The five shortlisted candidates included NamWater executive Eino Mvula, deputy executive director for administration in the ministry of works Joyce Mukubi, researcher and entrepreneur Charmill Zamuee, Roads Authority CEO Conrad Lutombi and Moses Matyayi, who is the CEO of the Otjiwarongo municipality.
According to the minutes of the interviews conducted by the City of Windhoek, Lutombi scored 80%, followed by Matyayi with 74% and Mvula with 71% in the interviews and psychometric tests.
It was recommended that Lutombi be offered the job – and should he reject it, the position should be offered to Matyayi.