Venaani blasts Geingob over order to ‘doctor’ charges against City top brass

01 Feb 2019 08:40am
WINDHOEK, 01 FEB (NAMPA) – Leader of the official opposition McHenry Venaani has come out guns blazing to condemn President Hage Geingob’s directive to City of Windhoek (CoW) councillors to “doctor” charges and reinstate two of its suspended top officials.
Geingob, accompanied by the Vice President, Prime Minister and Swapo Secretary General on Wednesday told the 15 CoW councillors to reinstate suspended Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise and City Police chief Abraham Kanime, and to withdraw all charges laid against the two with immediate effect.
This, Geingob said is in a bid to allow for the smooth operation of the City, which has in recent time been characterised by “rigmarole suspensions”.
A clearly frustrated Geingob told the City councillors: “I don’t have time to discuss. This (meeting) is not for discussions. Go back and reinstate Kanime. Suspend (and) remove the charges from the CEO (Kahimise). I am not a lawyer. Go and now doctor it. That’s opuwo!”
At a press conference on Thursday, the opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader branded Geingob’s directive the epitome of “dictatorship”.
“Yesterday we were informed by the electronic media that President Geingob made a remark that the laws must be doctored by the top brass of the municipality…that is the beginning of a dictatorship. That is how it starts,” Venaani asserted.
He added: “The president has no right to interfere in the administration of a third layer of governance (local authority). The president under Section 35 of the Constitution is only allowed to pardon offenders that were convicted by a competent court of law.”
Venaani went on to say that Geingob arguing he is not a lawyer and implying he would leave everything in the hands of lawyers to “doctor” the said charges is a travesty of governance.
“You put an oath of allegiance to our Constitution and laws of the country,” he said to Geingob, adding that the Head of State has an attorney general at his behest to advise him on all legal matters.
“So, he cannot play ignorant and therefore the lawyers must go and play it out,” added Venaani.
Kanime is among other things accused of having committed serious misconduct in his capacity as head of the City Police, with a total of 69 initial charges levelled against him.
The charges were later dropped to 66.
Meanwhile, Kahimise is under investigation over a loan of close to N.dollars 170 000 paid for his studies by CoW.
“By saying someone who is under investigation must be reinstated and those charges must be dropped, [Geingob] has infringed himself and is in conflict with the rule of law,” said Venaani.
The PDM president concluded: “In this instance, Hage Geingob has become the court of law that has proven the innocence of those senior officials.”