UPM Challenges Reho Acting CEO Appointment

THE United People’s Movement has lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the local government minister that the recent appointment of acting Rehoboth Town Council chief executive officer Willie ‘Mistake’ Swartz is ‘illegal’.

In a letter dated 5 August 2014 and copied to the ACC, councillor Jan Van Wyk urged minister Charles Namoloh to urgently intervene in what he termed “continued corrupt practices” in the town.

Van Wyk claimed Swartz was not appointed by the council’s appointing authority, the management committee, and thus his appointment last Friday is illegal.

Van Wyk accused the mayor of Rehoboth, Eve Maasdorp, of abusing her position “to promote corruption,” adding that her “action is unacceptable”.

Van Wyk said Maasdorp had suggested that Swartz be appointed at a 30 July 2014 meeting council had convened to discuss a NamWater matter.

However, the council members present at the meeting shot down the suggestion, arguing that the powers to appoint an acting CEO are vested in the council’s management in terms of the Local Authority Act, 1993 (Act 23 of 1992) Section 27 (4).

Van Wyk said the council members then suggested that a special council management committee meeting be called the following day to discuss the acting CEO’s appointment.

According to Van Wyk, a notice suggesting the special management committee meeting was then distributed among members of the committee.

But to their surprise, Maasdorp announced the appointment of Swartz as acting CEO at a farewell function of the former CEO Theo Jankowski which was held a few hours before the special management committee meeting was scheduled. The council’s CEO position became vacant on 31 July 2014 when Jankowski’s extended employment contract expired.

Maasdorp could not be reached for comment as calls to her cellphone went unanswered yesterday. She also did not respond to an SMS in which The Namibian sought her response on the corruption allegations.

Attempts to get comment from Swartz also proved futile yesterday.

Source : The Namibian