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Mayumbelo’s top score for Lutombi questioned

2022-07-28  Edward Mumbuu

Mayumbelo’s top score for Lutombi questioned

George Mayumbelo, who steered the recruitment process of Windhoek CEO last year, allegedly scored Conrad Lutombi, an alleged ally of his, 100% from the 16 questions posed to candidates, a rare feat, according to human resources experts.

Mayumbelo’s presence on both the shortlisting and selection committees was highlighted by members of the city’s management committee as a red flag.

According to insiders, Mayumbelo was not supposed to come anywhere close to the interview panel as he also formed part of the shortlisting committee. 

According to city sources, Mayumbelo bulldozed his way through to ensure a smooth passage for the RA supremo who is believed to be a close friend of his. 

There were 16 questions. Each carried five points.

A leaked scorecard, in New Era’s possession, indicates that Lutombi scored 80 out of a possible 80 points on Mayumbelo’s scorecard. 

In sharp contrast, public policy and governance expert, Marius Kudumo, who also formed part of the panel, scored Lutombi 51. 

Another panellist, Alfeus Benyamin scored the Roads Authority boss 75, the scoresheet shows. 

Meanwhile, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) CEO scored Lutombi 61. Another panellist, Lameck Uyepa also scored Lutombi 61 while John Walters scored him 69. Letshego managing director Esther Kali scored Lutombi 63.

In total, Lutombi garnered 460 points in the structured interview out of a possible 560. 


The other candidates were Joyce Mukubi, who is the deputy executive director for administration in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Otjiwarongo municipality CEO Moses Matyayi, Charmill Zamuee, and a former acting CEO of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, Eino Mvula.

According to the scorecard, Matyayi came second with 434. In third place was Mvula with 400 while Mukubi managed 317. 

In the last spot was Zamuee, with 303. 


New Era sought views from HR experts to understand executive interview dynamics and the chances of a panellist scoring a candidate 100%. 

They are close to none. 

“It’s impossible for a panellist to score a candidate 100% in interview questions. There must be certain areas where a candidate, no matter how exceptional they are, come short. Otherwise, the entire interview’s credibility must be questioned,” said Samuel Petrus, a HR expert. 

Agreeing with him was Kudumo, who said a candidate must be extraordinary to score above 90%. 

“I am not saying it is impossible. It is not like in high school where you say yes or no. We look at analytical abilities in responding to questions and the candidate’s strategic views,” Kudumo said. 

The academic continued: “In my case, you must convince me extraordinarily for you to get a 100% because there is always something humanly speaking that might be missing in everyone. Every personality has some weaknesses that must be taken into account, even in answering.”  

No interests

Responding to detailed questions, Mayumbelo refuted claims that he favoured Lutombi. 

“I have no personal vested interest in who becomes CEO of the City of Windhoek,” the seasoned executive said.

“My interest lies in as far as the role of my position as strategic executive, human capital and corporate services requires me to play in ensuring a fair, just and transparent recruitment process,” he said. 

He said his relationship with Lutombi is a professional one, as is the case with other executive in the public and private sectors. 

Asked if he contravened policy when he served on both interview and selection panels, he said: “The composition of the selection and interview panels are guided by the recruitment and selection regulations. They were followed.

“In addition, my participation in the interview panel was sanctioned and endorsed by the management committee (MC) at its meetings of 3 August 2021 and 14 September 2021. MC had all relevant documents at those meetings.”

Mayumbelo did not delve into the 100% he purportedly scored Lutombi. He said that process remains confidential and incomplete.

“I will however clarify that the scoring system allows for scoring according to a quotient-based scale of 1-5. The scoring, which is maliciously being interpreted as 100%, would therefore not necessarily be indicative of a perfect score.”

In the past, former Windhoek acting CEO Jennifer Comalie vindicated Mayumbelo. 

“It is common practice that a human resources expert remains involved and participates throughout the process in order to ensure consistency, fairness and transparency in the execution of the various stages of a comprehensive recruitment process of this nature,” Comalie said last year. 

Lutombi mum

Lutombi did not entertain questions, saying the matter was being handled by his legal team.

Last week, Lutombi served the city an ultimatum demanding interview scorecards and explaining why they failed to inform the unsuccessful candidates about the interview outcome.  

The city must respond on or before 31 July 2022.


Amidst the brouhaha, the MC remains resolute that the recruitment process must restart, as it is marred with irregularities. 

They said: “the MC is not convinced that the then acting CEO [Mayumbelo], should have served on the shortlisting committee as the strategic executive of the department of human capital and corporate services while an acting strategic executive is appointed to serve in the same portfolio.”

Chiefly, it says, Mayumbelo was not supposed to be on the selection panel while concurrently acting in the position of CEO. 

“Our reasons are centred around the shortlisting committee. We did not go beyond the shortlisting [of candidates] because we were not satisfied that all criteria were fully complied with,” MC chair, Ndeshihafela Larandja maintained yesterday.

She argued that if the shortlisting process was tampered with, then the whole process cannot culminate into a legitimate outcome. 

According to Larandja, requirements for the position were altered during shortlisting. 

As such, new requirements were added in the process.

This, according to Larandja, may have advantaged or disadvantaged some aspirants. 

“There are too many grey areas. There is a black cloud hanging on top [of the process],” she said. 

It also remains unclear to the MC what criteria the selection committee used when it narrowed potential candidates from the initial 68 to 61, from 61 to 25 and from 25 to five. 

The MC, she said, only got to learn about Mayumbelo’s involvement in the shortlisting committee after the entire process was caried out. 

“If we had known earlier, we could have raised it way back. We could have questioned it. That part of the selection committee is not brought to MC for consideration, according to the regulations, only the list of panellists is brought to MC for approval and consideration,” she said. 

In October last year when the interviews took place, Mayumbelo was the acting CEO for the Windhoek municipality. 

His position as strategic executive for human capital and corporate services was filled by Archie Nikanor in an acting capacity. 

It was Nikanor, it is argued, who was supposed to oversee the process and not Mayumbelo, the municipality’s management committee said.

Swartbooi support 

Last week, Landless People’s Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi urged the MC to appoint a CEO, saying it is in the best interest of the city and its inhabitants. 

He voiced his opposition to the appointment of Lutombi in the past.

“There is nothing materially fundamentally untoward,” Swartbooi said.

Remarks by Swartbooi and other political actors are testament the process was beyond reproach, Mayumbelo said. 

“In addition, the recent public statements by political leadership from varied political parties have vindicated those who administered as well as those who partook in the process of any alleged collusion or malpractice.

As administrators of the process, Mayumbelo said, they will remain steadfast to ensure that fairness and justice prevail in the interest of “both the organisation as well as residents of Windhoek”. 

Photo: (Mayumbelo)

2022-07-28  Edward Mumbuu

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