Geingob’s directive illegal and undermining accountability: Amoomo

30 Jan 2019 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JAN (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob’s move to direct the City of Windhoek (CoW)’s leadership to reinstate its suspended top officials, has far-reaching implications, local lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo has warned.
City Police Chief, Abraham Kanime, is among other things accused of having committed serious misconduct in his capacity as head of the City Police, with a total of 66 charges levelled against him.
Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kahimise, meanwhile is under investigations over a loan of close to N.dollars 170 000 paid for his studies by CoW.
Amoomo made the remarks in an interview with this agency on Wednesday, shortly after the Head of State ordered local authority councillors at the helm of CoW to reinstate and withdraw all charges it laid against the two top officials.
“It’s an unlawful directive. He doesn’t have the powers to direct local authorities on how to run its affairs,” he said, adding that the local authority act does not make provision for Presidential directives on disciplinary issues of a local authority.
The lawyer further went on to say the President’s directive was not legally binding to the City.
“They can choose to ignore it,” he said, noting that accountability was being compromised.
Another legal expert, Natjirikasorua Tjirera, who echoed Amoomo’s sentiments, saying the Head of State has no basis in law and in logic to start instructing elected officials of local authorities to undo decisions that they have taken.
“I am not saying the decisions were sound, but they were taken in accordance with the law and now the President is asking them to be reversed but not in accordance with the law,” he added.
However, for the seasoned lawyer, it remains unclear whether Geingob ‘directed or advised’ the municipal councillors as president of Swapo and not the country.
If indeed it was a directive, then the president was entering a dangerous space, that of running the country by decree, he noted.
“It’s a very dangerous precedence that the president is setting. Because what will happen from now is that the president can order any local authority council which has suspended its CEO for whatever reason to withdraw that suspension. So local authorities have been made toothless,” he lamented.
On his part, Urban and Rural Development Minister, Peya Mushelanga, under whose ministry local authorities fall, referred queries around the directive to Geingob.
He also ruled out the possibility of Geingob interfering in matters of the judiciary.
“The president did not go to the judiciary to say stop what you are doing. The president never gave an instruction to the courts. He spoke as president to members of the executive,” he said.
(NAMPA)
MEM/EK/HP