Kahimise to still fight Kanime appointment
By Maria Kandjungu
WHETHER at the helm of the city or not, Windhoek Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kahimise said he will see through the High Court case where he is challenging the city council and its management committee on the re-appointment of Abraham Kanime as the city police chief.
“I am only letting go of my title, but I remain a resident of the city of Windhoek and I will see the case till the end in my capacity as a resident. My application is [made] because of the irregularities that surround the appointment of Kanime and my resignation as the CEO does not affect that, so I will continue with it in my private capacity,” he said.
Kahimise recently resigned from his position as the CEO of the City of Windhoek effective as of October. Nevertheless, he has filed a court case challenging the reappointment of Kanime stating that the management meeting that led to the reinstatement was illegal as he [CEO] did not call for the meeting, nor was he present at it.
In his application which he filed both as the city CEO and also in his private capacity, Kahimise stated that him not calling the meeting and his absence thereof thus makes the meeting unlawful and nullifies the decisions taken there.
The said meeting took place on April 28, where the management committee made a decision to retain Kanime in his old position, while they also resolved to approve the terms and conditions of his three-year employment contract which includes a pay package of at least N$1.4 million per year, a car allowance of N$302 000, housing allowance of N$492 000 and an annual bonus of N$116 000.
Kahimise, in his application further noted that the reappointment of Kanime was done in violation of the municipal police service regulations, which suggest that a City Police head must be appointed in consultation with the Service Advisory Committee (SAC) which consists of the chiefs of the Namibian Defence Force, Namibian Police, Namibia Correctional Service and director general of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service and should be done on the recommendation of the municipal’s CEO.
The case was postponed to August 27 for case management.
Kahimise further told Confidente that Kanime’s disciplinary hearing for his 20 charges that led to his suspension two years ago still stands and is set to happen sometime this year.
Kanime was suspended in 2018 on 69 charges of irregularities, including allegations that he made unauthorised payments to lawyers who represented him and the City Police members in cases against his employer. Most of the charges have since been dropped and he is currently facing 20 charges of misconduct concerning the alleged appointments of police officers without following the correct recruitment processes. Although he was reinstated a year later, on instructions of the High Court, he was set to face a disciplinary hearing which has not taken place to date.
“They have been delaying the hearing since last year because they wanted him to reach his retirement before the disciplinary hearing so that he could come back on a clean slate but the disciplinary will take place,” said Kahimise.
On the other hand, Kanime refuted claims of delay tactics saying he has been pushing for the disciplinary hearing to take place since last year.
“My position has always been clear, I want this case resolved. What they did to my career and legacy is serious and I cannot let that go. The argument that I wanted to delay and start over on a clear slate does not stand because I am still in the same institution … it’s just that I am now on a different contract but that does not change anything.
“Even if I had left, I would still have pursued this case to have it concluded because I need my name cleared. No one should be able to run or hide from it. The delay was not on me. My lawyers wrote to them last year, we wrote to them again this year where we gave them possible dates that my lawyer is available to have the hearing,” Kanime said.
The police chief went on to say that he has no say on whether the current court case where he is cited as respondent goes ahead or gets dropped after Kahimise leaves CoW.
“It is not my case, so I have no hand in what happens to it, but my position remains as I have stated in my answering affidavits. Whether the CEO goes ahead with the case or not that’s not of any difference to me.”