Shenanigans Bedevil Hiring of Windhoek CEO

Sources have lamented the behind-the-scenes shenanigans and “lack of transparency” in the recruitment of the new CEO of the Windhoek Municipality to replace Niilo Taapopi who has served his tenure of two five-year terms.

Sources privy to the behind-the-scenes chicanery for the strategic executive position have alluded to the fact that Windhoek is a different kettle of fish and should be managed by someone well versed and qualified in local authority issues, which is apparently beyond the depth of some of the job applicants.

“People are just applying and it not because they have a passion for this job but because of the huge economic opportunities in terms of the allocation of land and the lucrative construction tenders available here,” said one insider.

The source that requested anonymity was referring to the Windhoek City Council’s annual capital budget in excess of N$300 million ‘for alleged dubious land dealings’.

Reports have been circulating within the corridors of City Hall about a suspicious directive “from the top” instructing the city council to ensure senior managers employed by the Windhoek Municipality do not apply for the top strategic office.

“People didn’t want to make fools of themselves by applying (for the CEO position) knowing there are already some senior people with their own hidden agendas,” bemoaned another manager affected by the unorthodox manoeuvring.

“The challenge we are facing, like during the last appointment (of the CEO), is that the CEO could come from a different environment and he or she will first have to acquaint him or herself so that they find their feet before they start grasping the massive housing backlog but we don’t have the time for idling and waiting.”

The source pointed to the fact that the councillors are also political appointees with no experience in local authority and would have to seek aice and support from a person who is equally in the dark and is equally without any experience.

One of the shortlisted candidates was a diplomat, a field unrelated to local authority and the applicant ran an office with a handful of people compared to the municipality with a staff complement in excess of 2 000 employees.

Taapopi the former Home Affairs permanent secretary assumed the reins at the municipality a decade ago but his contract ran its course this year after he completed two contractual five-year terms as the CEO of the Windhoek Municipality.

Sources said experienced managers with the requisite skills and amply qualified in local authority at senior strategic level have not been shortlisted in the present exercise despite some of them having outscored Taapopi in a previous interview for the top job at the municipality.

Municipal insiders bemoaned what they feel is a lack of transparency in the exercise which they say appears “predetermined” to favour certain applicants at the expense of other applicants with the required skills.

Among those shortlisted for the top job are Mac Hengari the director of the Namibia Business School (Unam), former diplomat Monika Naashandi currently employed as a senior manager at NamWater, Ndangi Katoma the director for strategic communications and financial sector development at the Bank of Namibia (BoN), Fillemon Nakashole the CEO of Oshakati Premier Electric (Pty) Ltd and Jerry Muadinohamba the former CEO of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund of Namibia (MVA).

Joshua Amukugo – the corporate communications manager at the Windhoek Municipality – said he could not comment on the report and referred queries to the mayor, Agnes Kafula, or alternatively Moses Shiikwa the chairperson of the Management Committee.

Source : New Era