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Omuthiya CEO accuses council of corruption

2019-06-21  Obrien Simasiku

Omuthiya CEO accuses council of corruption

OMUTHIYA -Anger, hatred and infighting has now become the order of the day in Omuthiya Town Council, following the unearthing of an avalanche of alleged high-level corruption and nepotism involving the mayor, her deputy and some councillors.

Afraid to lose his bread and butter, the CEO Samuel Mbango has refused to go down the drain alone as he revealed an array of corruption allegation against his seniors, ranging from the sale of plots, jobs-for-relatives and further accusing them of having a personal vendetta. 

Mbango’s unprecedented move to expose alleged council corruption and irregularities, came a fortnight after council had served him with a notice letter, that his contract will not be renewed when it comes to an end on August 31.  

“According to council’s meeting held on Monday, June 3, 2019, resolution no MC31/05/2019, the item regarding your employment contract was discussed and it was resolved the position you are currently holding as a Chief Executive Officer will be advertised and you have the right to apply,” stated part of the letter signed by the mayor Katrina Uusiku. 

This move has left council divided, with some councillors for and against his reappointment. Mbango has been at the helm of the institution since Omuthiya Town Council was established. In a letter dated June 10, addressed to urban and rural minister Peya Mushelenga, Mbango lists alleged irregularities by four councillors, mayor Uusiku and her deputy Heskiel Nanyeni, management committee chairperson Beata Nashongo and committee member Enos Shipahu, who he accuses of leasing plots to themselves without ministerial approval. 

In the letter in possession of New Era, Mbango accused Uusiku of pushing council to employ his husband as a driver even though he did not come top in the interview. 

In addition, she pushed for the training of her husband who did not know how to operate council machineries for training in South Africa, at council’s cost for a month. This is alleged to have cost council an estimated N$100 000. 

Firing more shots, the CEO said the mayor still refuses to vacate three plots Erf 1244, 1245 and 1246 at Extension 5, which she had already been compensated for.

She is also accused of having erected a shack at Kaniita reception area in an effort to benefit when the residents are relocated to a formal area. She apparently rents out the shack. 

“With her occupying these plots, council is unable to sell these plots to needy residents. As a result, many people have been refusing to move because she is not leading by example,” argued Mbango. 
Nanyeni is said to have leased himself a plot Erf 1295 at Extension 5 where he built flats in an effort to buy it after five years, but he has not done so to date. Nashongo is accused of a witch-hunt after council has deducted monies from her allowance after she failed to return council chairs that she had borrowed. She is further accused of nepotism for pushing for jobs to people she knows. Mbango cited the recruitment of a Finance and Human Resource manager in 2017, who had come second with 66.6 percent at the expense of an internal staff who come tops with 77.8 percent. 

Shipahu was accused for having a hand in the sale of the Swapo land Erf 2 in Omuthiya proper, as well as leasing a number of plots to himself without ministerial approval.

When contacted for comment, Shihapu said he was unaware of the corruption allegations, saying he is still on council waiting list since he applied for a plot in 2013. “That is their poems, saying and creating unfounded stories.” 

While, Nanyeni who was once a town mayor and now deputy sounded surprised and referred this reporter to the mayor whose mobile phone went unanswered.

“In my view, the four councillors are not being objective by pushing the agenda of non-renewal. They are doing this without consulting the party, for them it is not about performance but a personal agenda,” stressed Mbango.

Furthermore, he insists the councillors did not follow proper procedures in arriving at the non-renewal of the contract as per the terms of Local Authority Act, Act 23 of 1992 and standing rules which they cited. “As per the Act the council was supposed to give me a notice at least three calendar months before the contract expires in this case the contract expires on August 31. Therefore, in my opinion, council has violated that section because their notice was served in less than three months,” stated Mbango. 

In addition, he accused the councillors of having a personal vendetta because he has been against their doings. “They have been threatening to deal with me apparently when the time come, perhaps this is the time.” 

Communities have been complaining about town council’s alleged corruption for years. Last month, Mushelenga had to be roped in to address the matter. He has since set up an investigative committee, which started working on the matter Wednesday. 

Meanwhile the community is planning to hold a demonstration on Saturday where they intend to handover a petition to Swapo Party regional leadership, calling for disciplinary actions against those implicated in alleged corrupt acts.

2019-06-21  Obrien Simasiku

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