Governor Endjala’s driver sues over dismissal

Ongwediva-The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD) has been summoned by the Office of Labour Commission for an arbitration hearing over the alleged unfair and illegal dismissal of the official driver of Omusati Regional Governor Erginus Endjala.

In a five-page letter of complaints that led to the dismissal of Himulayi Benyamin Hishivimbwa, Endjala accuses him of disrespect, insubordination, uttering verbal insults, being drunk during working hours, and for breach of confidentiality.

Copies of documents seen by New Era show that Hishivimbwa was dismissed from official duty on March 30. According to the said documents, Hishivimbwa is the applicant in the dispute and MURD the respondent. It is understood that this is the third time the arbitration hearing is convened, as Endjala, the initiator and complainant in the case, had not pitched up for the first two hearings.

It is alleged that Hishivimbwa received the letter of dismissal through Endjala's office, without being first subjected to official disciplinary procedures.

Omusati Chief Regional Officer Protasius Andowa confirmed to New Era that Hishivimbwa had indeed been dismissed without going through any disciplinary hearing or other labour-related procedures. However, he referred all other enquires to Endjala's office. Endjala in turn denied any involvement in the dismissal of his driver.

My office does not hire or fire, all employees are hired by the Public Service Commission. Go and ask the Commission. My office is not summoned by the Labour Commissioner, Endjala said.

Questions are now being asked as to why Hishivimbwa's dimissal letter was written by the ministry's permanent secretary, Daniel Nghidinua, but signed by Evans Maswahu, the ministry's acting director of finance, human resources, administration and information technology.

Sources at the Governor Endjala's office have also alleged that Hishivimbwa was dismissed after falling out of favour with Endjala. They claim Endjala was involved in two accidents involving council vehicles, which he is not supposed to drive, and on both occassions Endjala had asked Hishivimbwa to take the blame.

The two vehicles that were involved in accidents while driven by Endjala are a Toyota Legend 45 (registration GRN 40004), which he was driving on May 8, 2015 when he hit an animal alongside Onamatanga-Omakange Road. He was reportedly with Hishivimbwa in the car when the incident occurred.

Again, on May 30, 2015 Endjala hit a goat along the Ogongo-Oshikuku road while driving the council's Hyundai vehicle (registration GRN 938).

Last year New Era reported that Endjala had been issued with two tickets for traffic violations in two different incidents while driving government vehicles without a driver's licence.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia