Windhoek City Council reduced to political buffoonery

PANDEMONIUM and chaos reigning at the City of Windhoek, at the behest of some rogue councillors to undermine the City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise is nothing less than political buffoonery which needs dire political intervention.

After failing, in their quest to convene a special Council meeting to appoint City Police Chief, Abraham Kanime, for an undetermined period, some Swapo councillors have now decided to convene a special meeting through a junior official, Pahukeni Titus, who was instantly promoted as Acting Chief Executive Officer for the sake of convening such a meeting while Kahimise, who is the de facto CEO is still in the office.

The Council was successful in foiling a High Court attempt by opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) councilor Ignatius Semba to halt the appointment of Kanime on an urgent basis. Hence, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and there is no justifiable grounds why the Council should rush through a council meeting to enforce the appointment of their favourite man, against the prescribes of Covid-19 regulation.

The wanton disregard of the law by some powerful City of Windhoek councilors, in their desperate pursuit to keep City Police Chief Abraham Kanime at the institution, typifies the law of the jungle and a dishonour to the oath they made to protect the Namibian constitution when they were sworn in.

Kanime tendered his resignation on 31 January 2020 from his position as chief of the Windhoek City Police, and his resignation was effective from April, 30.  But some councilors are now bullying City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kahimise into convening a Council meeting, contrary to Covid-19 regulations which clearly stipulate that during the period of the lockdown, all public gatherings are prohibited.

Kahimise was right to comply with the Covid-19 regulation to cancel all Council meeting but it is shocking when councillors now turn to their political muscles to use Titus, a junior official at the City of Windhoek, to defy the State of Emergency by calling for a council meeting contrary to Covid-19 regulations.

It is foolhardy how the respective councilors insisted on such a Council meeting when the item to be discussed is not critical as per tenor and purport of the regulation, neither is it Covid-19 related.

Secondly, the resignation of Chief Kanime is a matter that was well known to the CEO and Council as far back as January 2020 hence the matter was not urgent back then and there is no trigger event that renders the matter urgent now to the extent that it cannot be postponed together with the other items as they appear on the agenda.

It is even more amusing how the councilors defied a legal opinion by their own lawyer which advised them that it is under constitutional and legal obligation to act in accordance with the prescript of the law.

Any deviation from the prescripts of the law will result in any decision taken as contrary to what is lawful.

This is after the councillors were warned that, in the event that they proceed to implement its decision, that decision stands to be set aside by a Court of law.

The councillors are pushing for the reappointment of Kanime, while knowing that they are violating the municipal police service regulations, which stipulates that City Police head must be appointed in consultation with the Inspector General of the Namibian Police and on the recommendation of the municipal CEO.

Intra-political infighting as well other disputes have been synonymous with most local authorities but the battles that have engulfed the City of Windhoek over the years now need to be plugged as they have gone on long enough.

The political machinations and rigmarole at the City is enough an indication of how these relentless battles have caused on the City and by extension, those that are supposed to receive fair service delivery from the City fathers.

The behavior of some Windhoek City councillors clearly calls for Windhoek residents to consider merits above popularity when choosing their councilors for the City to rise above petty issues.