The Helao Nafidi Town Council, which previously argued the appointment of a CEO is council’s prerogative, has been dealt a blow after its line minister Erastus Uutoni shunned a request to extend the incumbent’s term for a further year and four months.
Council will now have to advertise the position.
The council had requested for an approval for its current CEO Inge Ipinge’s term to be extended from 7 August 2021 to 31 December 2021.
Ipinge is believed to be 65 and her contract ends in August.
In a communication seen by New Era, Uutoni said the extension request is not in line with Section 27 (3) (a) (1) (aa) of the Local Authority Act 1992 (Act No 23 of 1992) as amended.
According to Uutoni, the said provision requires for a CEO to occupy office for five years from the date of appointment.
“The said provision of the Act specifically requires a person, who is appointed as CEO or a staff member of a local authority council, who is promoted to the office of the CEO, to occupy that office for a period of five years from the date of his or her appointment,” the communication reads.
New Era understands the council wanted to extend the contract to assist them, as the whole council, except one member, are new since the last election.
The mayor, Darius Shaalukeni, said he has received the letter from the minister but council is yet to sit to deliberate on the letter. Shaalukeni, during a previous interview, said the appointment of the CEO is the right of the council.
“The appointment of the CEO is a council’s prerogative. That prerogative is not even with the minister. The minister only approves and makes recommendations,” said Shaalukeni at the time.
He, however, remained tightlipped on whether the council was considering the re-appointment of the council, citing that it is a personal matter.