Andrew Kathindi and Maria Hamutenya

The City of Windhoek (CoW) vehicles valued at more than N$6 million face the possibility of being auctioned off, after the Deputy Sheriff’s office attached the property in a labour dispute.

According to a source at the labour court, the attached items include vehicles, buses and firefighting trucks.

The dispute arose in 2019 when Superintendents, Peter Tuna Kandjumbwa, Kakonda Ghd, Tjivekumba Kandji, Jacqueline Amutenya, Maria Muyoba, Willem Karuuombe, Charl Morkel, Eliaser Liyambo, Pieter Boois, Oscar Simataa, Drusella Awases, Hilma Mpuka, Harold Winkler, Belinda Naomi Griqua and Reiter Nambinga took the City to the Labour Court citing underpayment.

“The arbitrator then awarded them to be paid the difference of the rank and that there should be a back pay.” The matter was already heard in 2019 and an attachment order on the City’s property was done.

This is the second time the Deputy Sheriff’s office is attaching the City’s property. In 2019 the City appealed the labour court’s ruling, however that appeal was overturned by the High Court.

Labour Executive Director, Bro-Mathew Shingwandja, told Windhoek Observer, “City of Windhoek did not comply to pay a certain amount of money to those who took them to the Labour Commissioner for arbitration.”

“This forced the aggrieved City employees to return to the Office of the Labour Commission to enforce the court order. As we’re talking, the Deputy Sheriff is busy attaching property, particularly cars, to sell at the next auction.”

A letter was drafted and signed by the Executive Director in order for the Deputy Sherriff to attach the listed property.

“This letter serves to inform your Office to proceed with the Notice of Sale of properties of Windhoek City Council. The attached items should be sold at the next available Public Auction in Execution. It is trusted that you attend to this matter with the necessary urgency it deserves,” reads Shingwandja’s letter to the Deputy Sheriff, Manfred Hennes.

City’s spokesperson, Harold Akwenye, says the current council, led by Mayor Job Amupanda, was yet to be briefed on the matter. “We received the outcome, but with regards to the way forward, council still has to pronounce itself as to what steps they’ll be taking. No decision has been made yet. Council needs to be briefed in order for them to make an informed decision,” he told Windhoek Observer.

According to Akwenye, an urgent meeting with the City’s legal representative, Ngatatue Kandovazu, to brief the council, was scheduled for this week