Swapo Joins City Boss Hunt

THE failure by the Municipality of Windhoek to appoint the next chief executive officer has attracted the attention of the ruling party that is calling for a different approach to avoid creating a leadership vacuum when the incumbent leaves.

Swapo’s information and mobilisation officer for Khomas region Sacky Shanghala has suggested that the Windhoek municipality should headhunt for the next chief executive officer, because the current process has not yielded tangible results.

The municipality has, since the beginning of this year, struggled to recruit a new boss but has up to three weeks to fill the position before Niilo Taapopi’s extended term ends.

The municipality has, on two occasions, in the last four months aertised the position but it is still vacant.

“The interview processes have not yielded the vibrant, dynamic and visionary leadership we as a regional Swapo party leadership seek and believe can take the City of Windhoek forward at the required pace,” Shanghala told The Namibian last week.

Shanghala fears that there might be a leadership vacuum if the municipality fails to replace Taapopi.

“Windhoek is the seat of government and faces a number of challenges in its growth such as housing, land and development in the expanded metropolitan area,” he said.

The Namibian reported two weeks ago that the Okahandja municipality chief executive officer, Frans Enkali, and former director of elections Moses Ndjarakana were among the four shortlisted candidates vying for the post.

The other two were Windhoek municipality’s strategic executive for community services George Mayumbelo and Jerome Mouton, the chief executive officer at Namsov Fishing Enterprises.

Sources told The Namibian that Enkali emerged as the top candidate, but could not get the job allegedly because of investigations against him at Okahandja.

The municipality is understood to have told the four that they did not meet the requirements and that the local authority would re-start the recruitment process.

Enkali told The Namibian last week that he had received a letter aising him he had been unsuccessful but that was all. He also said the investigations being referred to were baseless and aimed at tarnishing his image.

Shanghala insisted that the municipality can refrain from the failed process of trying to get a CEO via another platform because “municipality’s personnel policy permits for head hunting and the councillors must just head hunt as time is running out”.

One of the names being put on the table by the Swapo Party for the municipal chief job is the former CEO of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund, Jerry Muadinohamba.

The incoming CEO will have to grapple with a city saddled with a growing population and tainted with corruption from several shady deals involving land.

The Namibia Statistics Agency predicts that the population of the Khomas region would more than double the estimated 342 000 in 2011 to 645 000 in 2030.

The municipality is also affected by high housing prices, lack of serviced land and mushrooming informal settlements which has resulted in young people grabbing land in order to force the government to intervene with better solutions.

“We need a CEO who will also guide our councillors as much as heshe must lead the management. So we want a competent cadre nominated, so we can consult the leadership in good time. No more extensions, comrade Taapopi also deserves a rest,” Shanghala said.

The Namibian reported in 2004 that two of Windhoek’s senior councillors were pushing for the appointment of a ‘political candidate’ as CEO of the municipality.

Taapopi was appointed for a six-month stint to lead the municipality while the management searched for his replacement when he leaves on 16 December.

Taapopi declined to comment yesterday because he said he had not yet been briefed about the hunt for his successor by his management. Taapopi took charge of the municipality on 7 June 2004 from Martin Shipanga.

Meanwhile, sources at the municipality said the scramble to replace Agnes Kafula as mayor when she goes to parliament next year has begun.

Former mayor Elaine Trepper, her former deputy Gerson Kamatuka and Kafula’s deputy Muesee Kazapua are all mentioned as heading the race for the municipality’s top political job.

Source : The Namibian