The appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer for the City of Windhoek is now more embroiled in controversy following a letter to the Mayor of Windhoek by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development seeking more clarity and details regarding the recruitment process.
Erastus Utoni in letter dated 7 November 2022 and responding to the letter from the City of Windhoek on 14 October 2022 to endorse its decision to appoint Conrad Lutombi as the successful candidate said he need further clarity on the outcome of an investigation into alleged irregularities into the interview process and how the findings have ‘’influenced the change of the position and current decision of council’’.
The minister also wants to be provided with a copy the investigation report.
The City of Windhoek is further adviced by the minister of allegations of improprieties in the recruitment process his office received from the Namibia Local Authority Workers Union (Nalawu).
The minister also questioned why there are no details on how the final five candidates ‘’specifically outperformed the other twenty shortlisted candidates’’. Furthermore, Utoni wants to know who the shortlist was reduced to five final candidates.
‘’The municipal council should also address any other aspects pertaining to this same issue, which have been raised in paragraph 1 of the Nalawu letter.’’
Also, casting more doubt into the selection process, the Utoni wants to be informed of the role George Mayumbelo, one of the executives of the municipality and who has acted on many occasions in the vacant CEO position, as he was not only a member of the shortlisting committee, but chaired it as well as chairing the interview panel. ‘’Why was this found necessary or allowed by the council,’’ the minister states.
The role of Job Amupanda, who was the mayor during the interviews also put in the spotlight. ‘’The involvement or interference of former mayor, cllr Dr Job Amupanda in the recruitment process namely that he ‘took the files’ with information on the CEO recruitment to his house. There is no mention of this incident and how it has been dealt with by the council.’’
The minister writes that if true this may be ‘’a contraventionof Selection and Recruitment Regulation 37’’, saying he should be provided with details of how this has been handled by the council.
Utoni further touches on media reports about bias or favouritism in the shortlisting and selection process, asking to be provided with ‘’details on this and how your concerns, if any, have been resolved’’.
The minister wants the municipal council to comprehensively address all concerned raised by him in the letter so that the urgent recruitment of the CEO is concluded.