Kahimise breaks silence

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the City of Windhoek (CoW) Robert Kahimise has finally broke his silence and gave insight on the allegations of misconduct and the mount of charges against him.

At a media conference on Friday, Kahimise wanted to set the record straight on his tenure at CoW which has characterised by more controversy

infighting and a rigmarole of suspensions.

According to Kahimise, his ambitious 2017 - 2022 strategic plan earned him a bad reputation at the City as he had to redeploy several executives at the City and make other changes that he thought were necessary.

At the heart of Kahimise's plan is to root out corruption, make the City a prudent and self-sustaining entity.

However, it was the suspension Head of City Police Abraham Kanime on 26 March 2018 that made him a target by those who wanted to use it to conceal other dirty underhand dealings.

The main beneficiaries of these deals were City officials who have since become millionaires and owners of multiple properties most of which are registered in their names, you would not find anything. These officials have become so powerful despite some of them occupying clerical positions within the organisation. The same officials are the ones who created unnecessary delays and unfair practices in land applications and allocations, Kahimise pointed out.

Kahimise said these frustrations of these official essentially resulted in pages of allegations of corruption, misconduct and abuse of office by senior executives and connived with some members of the City council to get rid of him.

It soon became evident that Chief Kanime's suspension caused division amongst Council with continuous sentiments directed towards me that I will be shown the door by certain councillors, disgruntled senior executives, CoW officials and some NAPWU (Namibia Public Workers' Union) representatives, Kahimise explained.

Kahimise has faced two suspension, the first in October last year and the second on 5 November 2018 without pay.

The host allegations of misconduct related to a controversial study loan, non-procedural appointments at the municipality and quashing of a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers that led to the suspension of Kanime, questions around a salary increase and the irregular use of municipal property, funds and overtime claims but these were later reduced to only three.

The initial charges included 18 positions but now only three positions are indicated on the charge sheet and these are the charges to which I need to answer, Kahimise said.

Kahimise sternly emphasised that there was no gratification or misappropriation of funds at any point during his time in office and denied any abuse of power.

Ironically, he added, his suspensions were never about his performance, as it is impeccable, he said.

'I can say we have achieved at 50 per cent of our objectives but we can do more especially with our finances [getting a clean audit],' he said.

The branded infighting and wrangling between him and Kanime, Kahimise said was used to hide the bigger issues which is CoW officials are benefiting from corrupt land deals as well as bribery.

Furthermore, Kahimise clarified that there is no bad blood between him and Kanime.

Our professional relationship is in tact, I approve his leave days, he reports to me and he attends all the meetings he needs to, Kahimise added.

Kahimse said the City Police evidently does not respect authority including cooperating with the Namibian Police.

Efforts to get comment from Kanime went futile as his phone went unanswered.

Source: Namibia Press Agency