Continued infighting exposes more rot at CoW
…Execs awarded special contracts, CEO bypassed
By Confidente Reporter
THE Management Committee of the City of Windhoek has once again bypassed Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise when it offered fixed-term employment contracts to two strategic executives late last year without the latter’s knowledge and blessing.
The contracts offered to Strategic Executive: Human Capital and Corporate Services – George Mayumbelo and Ludwig Narib, Strategic Executive: Infrastructure, Water and Technical Services will be valid until the retirement age of 60.
Under normal circumstances, strategic executives are employed on renewable five-year term contracts with the approval of the CEO.
Special council minutes in Confidente’s possession of a meeting held on November 26 2019, state that the reason why the two executives as well as City Police chief Abraham Kanime did not sign fixed-term contracts as resolved by council, was due to the fact that there was no successful negotiation between them and the CEO.
“…That it be noted that the abovementioned fixed-term employment contracts will be valid until the retirement age of 60,” the minutes read in part.
Although it is not immediately clear why Mayumbelo and Narib out of nine strategic executives were offered fixed-term contracts, insiders told Confidente that it was a reward for supporting the management committee (MC) in its continued defiance agenda against Kahimise.
On his part, Kahimise said he gave advice which was inherently ignored by the management committee and this move was in contravention of what the council resolved in 2014 that strategic executives (SEs) be offered five-year fixed employment contracts. As an incentive and compensation for job security; all SEs on fixed employment contracts are compensated on 75 percentile of the grade while permanent employed SEs are on medium of the grade, he explained.
“What is strange and unfair about the two SEs fixed term contracts is the following: They were offered fixed-term employment contracts until retirement; and not five-year like for other SEs, and compensated at 75 percentile (with no job security risk). The difference between medium and 75 percentile was backdated to 2017 (knowing clearly these SEs never carried job security risk and they could have refused the offers).
“Hence due to the above-mentioned concerns I advised MC and council not to offer fixed-term employment contracts till retirement as they are defeating the purpose of incentivising performance and compensation for job security. For reasons known to MC (full MC members) and council (10 councillors) they ignored my advice of risk they are creating towards council as a public entity funded by public funds!”
Financial implications of the two executives on the new contracts total N$6 million while they allegedly also received back-pay of N$900 000 each, calculated from August 1 2017 to November 30 2019. This according to minute documents was paid in four consecutive instalments from December 31 2019.
Asked why out of nine executives he was one of two offered this contract, Narib referred Confidente to councillors. “I don’t know what you mean. I am sure there were reasons why that was decided. Councillors took the decision so I suggest you speak to them…”
Mayumbelo on the other hand asked why confidential documents were in Confidente’s possession before referring further questions to Kahimise. “You are not supposed to have those confidential documents in the first place. Those are staff matters. I want the CEO to grant me permission to speak to you because there is a lot of misleading information on this matter. I have no interest in talking lies. This is a distortion by people who want to wipe (sic) support of the public to vilify people like myself who have been quiet.”
On second thoughts he said, “…It should suffice to say that I was ultimately offered an employment contract by the employer. I have signed the contract whose end date coincides with my retirement. It is disingenuos to say that I was favored in any way when it is actually the opposite.”
The minutes further show it was resolved that in future, signing of such contracts be facilitated by the department of human capital and corporate services under the staffing and remuneration division.
The minutes also highlighted that between August 1 2017 and October 21 2019, council required over N$2,2 million for the trio’s upgrade of which N$742 355 is reserved for Kanime, N$769 401 in respect of Mayumbelo and N$730 347 for Narib.
At the time, it was noted that they will be funded from departmental, and if need be at organisational level savings from various votes. As at October 31 2019, it was noted in the minutes that the city’s salary savings totalled N$42 million.
“How do you justify that to other public office bearers? The management committee is creating a liability to incoming councillors. The City of Windhoek is a public entity run with public funds. The city’s first goal should be public service delivery but what is happening on a daily basis are personal agendas,” an insider said on condition of anonymity.
Chairperson of the management committee Moses Shiikwa said that the decision was not made by an individual and referred Confidente to Windhoek Mayor Fransina Kahungu.
“Normally such matters are made collectively. Speak to the Mayor,” he said.
Insiders also told Confidente that the management committee’s continued defiance against Kahimise partly has to do with him blocking land deals a majority of management committee members were involved in, especially Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) where council land was bought and immediately sold off.