Controversy prompts a restart of recruitment for Outjo Municipal CEO

Niël Terblanché

The search for a new Chief Executive Officer for the Outjo Municipality is set to start afresh following directives from Erastus Uutoni, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development.

The minister’s decision comes in the wake of serious allegations pointing to irregularities and a purportedly flawed interview process that marred last year’s recruitment efforts.

The controversy unfolded after Mahne Kruger, a candidate for the CEO position, raised concerns with the Ombudsman over what was described as unfair recruitment practices at the municipality.

These allegations prompted a closer examination of the selection process, culminating in the minister’s intervention.

Outjo has been without a permanent CEO since April of the previous year following the retirement of Josef Urib.

An extension of Urib’s contract was later terminated in August, leaving the position vacant and the municipality in a state of uncertainty.

Out of nineteen applications received for the coveted role, only four candidates were shortlisted, and eventually, three were interviewed after one withdrew from contention.

The ministry’s Executive Director, Daniel Nghidinua, gave the assurance that the municipality is expected to expedite the re-advertisement and ensure that the entire recruitment process – from shortlisting to interviewing and ultimately filling the vacancy – is concluded within the next three months.

According to Nghidinhua, the re-advertisement of the CEO position reiterates the ministry’s commitment to transparency and fairness in the recruitment process, aiming to restore confidence in the municipality’s governance and leadership selection mechanisms.

The Outjo community and its stakeholders now await the unfolding of a process that promises to be more rigorous and equitable.

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