OMUTHIYA - The Omuthiya Town Council is taking a gamble as it forges ahead with the recruitment of a chief executive officer, despite former incumbent Samuel Mbango having appealed the Labour Commissioner’s ruling in the High Court. Mbango is asking the court to review and set aside the ruling of the labour commissioner. He also asked for a new arbitrator to be appointed to deal with the matter.
Council, however, insists that they will go ahead with the recruitment, despite the risk of having the earlier judgement overruled. The ruling of the labour commissioner was handed down in March this year, where he closed the case, stating that he had no jurisdiction to preside over it as the appellant failed to lodge his dispute within the required 12 months.
Mbango lodged his dispute on 28 August 2020, more than a year after he was served with a notice on 10 June the previous year about the non-renewal of his contract. The former CEO sought recourse after being notified on 10 June 2019 that his contract with the council would not be renewed by the end of August when it lapsed. He argued that the non-renewal was a breach of his employment contract, as it required a full three-months’ notice period. He also argued that he was not given reasons why his contract could not be renewed.
He served as the founding CEO of the regional capital of Oshikoto for 10 years. Based on the March ruling, the town council in May advertised the position to recruit a substantive head, as there were no legal tussles then. Shortly after this, council was notified that Mbango had approached the High Court, seeking for a review of the judgement.
Despite the recently instituted legal processes, council said through its mayor Johannes Ndeutepo that they are not worried. According to him, it’s a dead and buried case, and he thus sees no reason why the recruitment process should be halted.
“If he institutes anything that involves council, we shall defend it. Other than that, we have nothing to shield. I think his attempts are for survival because he lost employment, but there is really nothing on merit. His contract was simply not renewed,” he stated.
“Yes, I am aware that he has lodged another dispute in which he wants the judgement to be reviewed. He has done that before and lost,” he continued.
“We are waiting for interviews to be conducted soon; we are waiting for the executives to determine the date. Also, we are waiting for the ministry as they have to send a representative to form part of the panel. Thus, when all is done, we will do interviews”, Ndeutepo added.
Four candidates have been shortlisted for the interviews, New Era is informed.