ONGWEDIVA – Claims of tribalism and regionalism have preceded the suspension of the Grootfontein’s Strategic Executive of Finance and Information Technology Ileni Hainghumbi, an allegation refuted by the municipal CEO.
Hainghumbi, who was served a suspension letter on Monday due to alleged misconduct, has previously accused acting CEO Arnold Ameb and chairperson of the management committee Jack Tsanigab of tribalism, regionalism, nepotism and that they intent to “loot” the council.
He claims that calamities between his office and that of the acting CEO started after he gave a note of payment to a company where Ameb had interest and after he questioned the use of company’s resources by Tsanigab.
He claims Tsanigab and Ameb are personal friends.
“I have also concluded that, you as a person, [are] fitted by tribalism,” Hainghumbi wrote prior to his suspension.
“In one of the council meetings, in the presence of the entire councillors (sic) and staff members,
the chairperson of the management committee [Tsanigab] vented and said words toward me that I came to Grootfontein very poor, and now I’m filthy rich, and I must go back to my village.”
“I know that one of the general labourers of the municipality, who is your family member, has
a disciplinary case with the municipality and you played it down, the documents are still in your
office since,” Hainghumbi wrote.
Tsanigab however trashed allegations of tribalism or regionalism, maintaining that Hainghumbi is trying to cloud his case with counter allegations.
“I am not tribal, I don’t like regionalism. I believe in One Namibia One nation. I treat my employees equally and they are all my personal friends –Including Hainghumbi. Our people need to turn away from tribal issues and political witch-hunt,” said Tsanigab.
Since former Grootfontein CEO Charles Kariko retired from his position, the local authority’s leadership has come under the spotlight for alleged un-favourable actions by the management committee and the councillors.
Among these was the appointment of Ameb to the Acting CEO’s position. Ameb is said to be a junior staff member who previously reported to Hainghumbi. Hainghumbi is part of the executive committee of the town council.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga at one stage questioned the rationale behind Ameb’s appointment.
Tsanigab however told New Era that the management committee was guided by Section 23 of the Local Authority Act, which does not stipulate that only seniors should act.
“Where is it written? What if the senior has too much on his plate to act? That was the management committee’s decision,” said Tsanigab.
Both Ameb and Tsanigab told New Era that Hainghumbi’s case is still under investigation and that his charges will be brought forward in due course.
Ameb has declined to comment on the allegations, citing the ongoing investigation against Hainghumbi.