KEBU employees demand immediate removal of Acting Head

Stefanus Nashama

Staff members of the Keetmanshoop Electrical Business Unit (KEBU), an electrical department within the Keetmanshoop Municipality, are demanding the immediate removal of Lee Mweemba who was appointed by the council management to head the department in January this year.

In a letter of demand sent by KEBU employees earlier this year, they contended that Mweemba is an Information Technology (IT) specialist who belongs to the municipality’s finance department and not the electrical department. They are therefore demanding that he be removed from KEBU, as the department already has senior electricians, relevant technicians and electricians with the relevant qualifications and experience to head the department.

“We the KEBU team are very disappointed and dissatisfied with the drastic decision that our management and council have taken to appoint Mr. Mweemba as the acting senior electrician of our department while the management is aware that the IT specialist falls under the finances department and not at the Electrical Department.

It is to our surprise that the same council and the management are not aware that we have a senior electrician, revenue technician and electricians who are employed by the municipality with relevant qualifications and years of working experience that is entrusted by the employer,” expressed the workers.

They accused the municipality of failing to create an equal opportunity environment and not taking their opinions into account.

“It is very clear to us that the Keetmanshoop Municipality does not create an equal opportunity environment, it is clear that the employer does not want to hear what our opinion is, what our perspective is, what we stand for and what KEBU means to us,” they said.

The employees stated that they have been raising the same issue with the council for over two years, but it has not been attended to.

“The truth is that our employer wants a version of us that is palatable for you. You want us to be subservient and compliant, you want us to be a version that is acceptable to you. You don’t want us to be as authentically KEBU as we are.

“When an employer creates an environment that caters to this type of experience, they are likely involved in unlawful discrimination and the employer must be held accountable for this. We the KEBU team want an employer and not an oppressor because an oppressor fears accountability,” the team expressed.

In January, the Revolutionary Union (RU) requested that the council review the decision to appoint Mweemba on behalf of KEBU’s employees.

The union raised an issue that employees within the electricity department were qualified for the role, yet Mweemba was chosen instead. Despite this, the council has not responded to the union’s request for clarification.

Speaking to the Windhoek Observer yesterday, RU’s Proletariat Central Secretary, Julius Natangwe, expressed concerns over the lack of response.

“We aim to ensure that all deserving candidates are given an equal opportunity for professional growth and that appointments are made based on merit rather than personal affiliations,” he stated.

According to reports, the municipality has been without a Chief Executive Officer since the departure of former CEO in July 2021.

A source has disclosed to this publication that there is a power struggle within the council over who should be appointed as the new CEO.

“Many things are happening within Keetmanshoop municipality. People bring in their friends to act. That is why such an issue has not been resolved,” said the source.

Keetmanshoop Acting Chief Executive Officer Gregorius Andries and mayor McDonald Hans did not respond to calls and massages sent to them, Mweemba was also not reachable at the time of publishing.

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