WINDHOEK – The Namibian Public Workers Union (Napwu) yesterday threatened that if the City of Windhoek implements President Hage Geingob’s directive to lift the suspensions of CEO Robert Kahimise and City Police Chief Abraham Kanime, it (the union) will demand that all City employees currently on suspension be reinstated back into their jobs.
Windhoek mayor Muesse Kazapua told New Era on Monday that the City council is penciled in to meet to, among others deliberate on how the President’s directive of last week must be implemented.
The directive has been met with mixed reactions, with critics pointing to a possible bad precedence being set if the two officials are reinstated into their jobs without disciplinary procedures being completed against them.
The presidency has strongly defended the President’s directive, saying it was within his ambits.
Analysts have said the President’s arbitral power to lift suspensions in this manner is only limited to political appointees, which Kanime and Kahimise are not.
Napwu General Secretary Peter Nevonga, in a letter late yesterday to City of Windhoek management committee chairperson Agatha Ashilelo, said should council implement Geingob’s directive, the council must also withdraw all charges and reinstate all other City employees that are currently on suspension.
“We are well aware of the request that was recently made to have charges against Kanime and Kahimise withdrawn,” said Nevonga.
“You are also advised that no employee will ever be charged or suspended going forward should the request be implemented.”
Napwu is the country’s largest trade union, with members in various municipalities and parastatals.
Kazapua on Monday confirmed that Kanime has not yet reported for work and the meeting will, among other things, look at the best way to implement his reinstatement.
Kanime has been on suspension since March 2017 on allegations of misusing public funds when he allegedly paid legal fees with City funds for a lawsuit against the municipality.
His boss, Kahimise, has been suspended back and forth due to allegations that he had received funding from the City of Windhoek for doctoral studies at institutions in Europe without proper approval from the council’s management committee for the said study loan.
His suspensions has also been largely linked to attempts by some City council members to lift the suspension of Kanime, who was suspended by the council in 2017.
Geingob last week ordered council to reinstate both Kanime and Kahimise and drop all charges against them.
“If you are going to be serious, we cannot be seated with a divided council.
“We cannot be sitting with people who are expelling and suspending each other day and night. Infightings and so… that’s why I called this meeting. I do not know the laws. I am talking now as President, they are going to interpret the laws,” Geingob was quoted saying.
He ordered that the suspensions be lifted so that council could move on to deal with issues affecting the nation, especially those related to land and housing.
“How are you going to rigmarole suspensions? People are being killed in the centre of the city.
“City Police have to do their job, I do not have time to discuss, and this is not a discussion. So, go back and reinstate Kanime and remove the charges from the CEO. I am not a law, go and doctor it. That’s it…finish,” Geingob instructed the city councillors.
2019-02-06 09:45:25 11 days ago