WINDHOEK - Omaheke Regional Council has appointed its director of planning Karukire Tjijenda as interim Chief Regional Officer (CRO) after yesterday’s suspension of Maria Vaendwanawa, following months of upheaval.
Vaendwanawa suspension follows Monday’s recommendations by the Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson Markus Kampungu who said the allegations against the CRO are extremely serious and warrant her suspension.
Vaendwanawa is accused of insubordination, reckless and negligent in handling of council funds- payment of consultants for work not performed as well as the dismissal without authorisation of Senior Control Administrative Officer, Elsie Kandjii.
“I am writing to inform you that the regional council at its extra ordinary regional council meeting held today (18 December 2019) resolved to suspend you with immediate effect with full remuneration until further notice as a Chief Regional Officer on recommendation of the Public Service Commission,” reads the suspension letter signed by councillor Katjanaa Kaurivi who chaired the extra ordinary council meeting yesterday.
“During your suspension, you shall not enter the premises of the regional council and its delegated functions without council consent. You must handover your office keys to Kaurivi with immediate effect,” further reads the letter.
New Era understands that two of the three Swapo councilors, being chairperson of the regional council Kalahari Constituency councillor Ignatius Gariseb and Okorukambe constituency councillor Raphael Mokaleng did not attend the meeting.
Efforts to get comment from Vaendwanawa were unavailing as her phone went unanswered.
Vaendwanawa’s suspension follows a motion by Nudo councillor for the Otjinene constituency Erwin
Katjizeu earlier this month in which he accused Vaendwanawa of corruption and other irregularities related to the overpayment of certain companies contracted by the regional council.
Katjizeu, in his motion, alleged that several companies benefited from questionable deals during Vaendwanawa’s time at the helm of the regional council.
The allegations against the CRO are also linked to the findings by auditor general Junias Kandjeke in his 2017 report on the accounts of the council.
A case in point is a consultancy contract worth N$4 million a year, given to a company called Integrated Global Business Solution (IGBS).
The regional council contracted this company to provide consultancy services, despite having a fully-fledged finance department.
Katjizeu claimed in his motion that this company, IGBS, was being overpaid by about N$140 000 per month.
According to him, the council was supposed to pay IGBS N$161 000 per month, as per the contract terms.
The contract was signed in 2010 when the company started compiling the council’s financial statements. - Additional reporting by The Namibian
2019-12-19 10:23:46 9 months ago