The Tsumeb municipality has endorsed the suspension of its acting CEO Karolina Damases following recommendations from the urban and rural development ministry, which conducted an investigation into the operations of the local authority.
Damases is accused of financial mismanagement as well as gross irregularities.
“I have not received the report, neither the charges, so I can’t comment on something I have not officially received,” Damases responded when contacted for comment yesterday.
She was informed of her suspension yesterday. The suspension is with full pay for an indefinite period, pending disciplinary processes, mayor Mathews Hangula said when confirming the latest development.
“Yes, I can confirm that the acting CEO is suspended following a council resolution taken on Friday. This is after council undertook a decision to investigate her operations and work acumen of the organisation,” he said. “So, regardless of who investigated, it was council’s prerogative to carry out such for the smooth running of the municipality,” maintained Hangula, declining to further delve into the matter.
Damases has been acting in the position for two years since the departure of former boss Archie Benjamin, who left for the Swakopmund municipality.
She is also the finance manager. Her prolonged leadership without another official taking over to act attracted wide criticism from the community and other officials, who felt she has been incompetent during her tenure.
Council, however, had from time to time defended her, saying she was suitable as they saw nothing untoward.