Suspended Omaruru CEO says suspension not procedural

07 Feb 2014 14:40pm
OTJIWARONGO, 07 FEB (NAMPA) - Suspended Omaruru Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Ganaseb has expressed concern about the manner in which he was suspended without pay in December last year.
He remains suspended without pay on allegations of irregularities in the administration of the council, but his suspension letter apparently does not specify what these irregularities were.
Ganaseb told Nampa on Friday that he was suspended on 24 December 2013 by a representative of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Linus //Garoeb, but this suspension did not follow proper procedures.
//Garoeb is the retired Chief Regional Officer of the Erongo Regional Council.
He was appointed by the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Charles Namoloh to manage the affairs of the council after seven Omaruru local authority councillors were suspended on 16 December last year.
Those councillors were suspended without pay on the grounds that they failed to implement recommendations based on the findings of an investigation by the ministry, which was initiated after Namoloh had apparently tried several times to direct the Omaruru Town Council to rectify a number of activities said to have been contrary to the relevant legislation, rules or ministerial directives.
The suspended councillors, the majority of whom are from opposition parties, are Vincent Kahua from the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo); Albertus !Naruseb from the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP); and Christiaan Nanuseb from the United Democratic Front (UDF).
The late Cretensian Garises was from the RDP and Johannes Hamutenya, Hendrina Gebhardt and Phillip Nghipandulwa from the Swapo-Party.
“On 24 December 2013, I was suspended while on leave. Upon hearing the rumours that I was suspended, I went to the office on 08 January 2014 to collect the suspension letter,” Ganaseb said.
The suspension letter was signed by //Garoeb.
Ganaseb, however, argues that //Garoeb’s appointment was in fact political, and therefore he has no power to suspend him from the position of CEO.
“The suspension of any CEO in the country is done by the town council after it had received a recommendation letter from the management committee of the town council,” he explained.
He furthermore indicated that once a suspension is instituted by the town council, the suspended CEO writes a letter to the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development to notify it of such development.
The ministry is then expected to assign an independent party to investigate the grounds of the suspension.
Ganaseb said he cannot ask the ministry to intervene in the matter as the suspension was carried out on its instructions.
His private lawyer has, however, written a letter to enquire why he was suspended without pay since he has not been found guilty.
The suspended Omaruru CEO said the Office of the Labour Commissioner will also hold an arbitration hearing on his suspension in Windhoek on 11 March this year.
On his part, suspended Omaruru mayor Vincent Kahua expressed concern about the town’s development projects, which he said are on hold since the councillors’ suspension.
He said projects such as the tarring of roads and the servicing of land are all on hold since 16 December 2013.
“Why should they suspend the development activities of our town? Is it because the CEO and I are suspended?” Kahua wanted to know.
This news agency also contacted //Garoeb for comment on the suspension of the CEO, and the allegations of development activities being at a standstill.
He only confirmed suspending Ganaseb as CEO on the basis that his office was being investigated, and said all developmental activities at the town are progressing well.