Rundu council says CEO recruitment process done correctly

27 Sep 2019 19:50pm
RUNDU, 27 SEP (NAMPA) – The Rundu Town Council says it carried out the recruitment process for the vacant position of its chief executive officer (CEO) correctly.
Rundu Mayor Isak Kandingu told Nampa in an interview Friday the process was done in compliance with the provisions of the Local Authority Act and recruitment and selection regulations for local authorities.
“Necessary consultations were also done with the parent ministry, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development,” Kandingu said.
The mayor said 19 applications were received for the position of Rundu Town Council CEO and out of the 19, only one applicant met the minimum requirements set.
“After consulting the ministry, the go-ahead was given to compose the interview panel. The panel was composed of seasoned executives from local authorities, as well as the ministry,” Kandingu further said.
None of the Rundu councillors formed part of the interview panel, the mayor stressed, adding that members of the Namibia Public Workers Union served as observers.
Recommendations by the interview panel in which the former acting CEO Sikongo Haihambo was selected was sent to the management committee and to the full council for them to either approve or reject.
“Council on Tuesday already sent their approved recommendations to the ministry, which has the last say before an official announcement can be made,” the mayor said.
Kandingu was responding to an article which appeared in The Namibian newspaper on Tuesday, in which allegations were raised on irregularities around the recruitment process in the shortlisting of candidates for the council’s top job.
According to the report, Haihambo’s appointment as acting CEO in 2018 was allegedly nepotistic as he is related to the management committee’s chairperson, Annastasia Shinduvi, who is apparently married to his uncle, and who reportedly did not excuse herself from the meetings deliberating and approving his appointment.
“Recusal mechanisms were applied. The council has it on record that Shinduvi also recused herself at the initial hiring of Haihambo,” the mayor said.
He confirmed that questions received from the Anti-Corruption Commission on the recruitment process were answered and documents requested were provided to the corruption watchdog as well.
“This process must be allowed to finish its course, lest names of people are unnecessarily brought into disrepute,” Kandingu said.
In September 2018, Haihambo was appointed on a six-month contract as the council’s acting CEO. His contract lapsed at the end of February this year but was extended, after which he tendered his resignation in May due to infighting among Swapo councillors.
Kandingu said Haihambo came to the Rundu council on a voluntary basis when the town council was going through “many corruption cases and ran a corrupt-free and efficient administration”.
Questions sent to the executive director of the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development went unanswered.
Public Relations Officer at the ACC, Josephine Nghituoomata confirmed a complaint was registered regarding the recruitment, but that the case is still at an early stage as it was only launched last week.
“An investigation officer will only be appointed if there is that need based on the information that will be collected,” she told Nampa.