Tsumeb mayor Mathews Hangula says prospective candidates who were interviewed for the chief executive officer position all failed to meet the requirements, forcing the municipality to re-advertise the position.
Five candidates were interviewed. This is the third time that the position is being advertised since it was left vacant in December 2018 when Archie Benjamin left to become Swakopmund municipality CEO. In the first run, the best candidate rejected the offer as the remuneration package was too low. Council had earlier made recommendations to the line ministry.
However, Hangula said there were still some issues they were scrutinising after realising no one could meet all the requirements, and the best way was to readvertise.
“No one passed the test. So, council collectively decided we readvertise the post. We were looking at the track records of individuals in terms of trust and honesty, among others. Based on those criteria, we found no suitable candidate,” he stressed.
Probed further on what basis the candidates failed, the mayor said: “A CEO is the overall head of administration. So, when you are looking for one, you don’t just look at the qualifications nor just the competency. There are a variety of issues to be taken into consideration too, such as performance and background checks on the individual’s work ethics and activities.”
He added that suitable candidates need to possess elements of competency, qualification, performance, fairness, trustworthiness and honesty.
“If the person was working somewhere, you need to get the track record of that particular individual. In our country, there is an issue of trust and honesty now to avoid scenarios of corruption and maladministration. That is the scope we were looking at so that whoever becomes our CEO, should not be tainted,” Hangula added.
He said Tsumeb is already embroiled in corruption and maladministration issues. Therefore, the institution doesn’t want to be aligned with or employ someone who might bring it in jeopardy and disrepute in future.
In July, council suspended former acting CEO Karolina Damaseb, who is accused of dubious dealings, misappropriation of funds and maladministration.
“That is why we are looking for the
best candidate. We do not want to take chances and do something hastily. These actions will bite us in future.
We are protecting the entity, and want someone who will carry that spirit forward, in the same vein upholding high standards and maintaining the image of the municipality through good deeds of development,” he said, adding that council has up to six months to secure a new substantive head.
There are, however, concerns from the public that the municipality has wasted resources and time in advertising and recruiting, a process they said has cost the residents and town growth as there is no capable person to implement council resolutions.
“I understand the concerns of the community, which is precisely the leadership’s distress. We are pained by this prolonged process. Therefore, I ask from the public to be a bit patient so that we all do things right without any future regrets,” the mayor continued.
He said being without a CEO doesn’t mean the institution and its activities are paralysed as there is an official acting in that role.
“We cannot be crybabies. We work with what we have, pushing for maximum output,” he observed.