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Omaruru council officials suspended
THE Omaruru local authority’s human resources manager, Roswitha Kaura, and public relations officer, Ephraim Katjatenja, have been suspended for alleged administrative irregularities, while the CEO vacancy had to be re-advertised due to a breach of confidentiality in the appointment process.
The town council’s management committee announced the suspensions last Thursday.
According to mayor Vincent Kahua, Katjatenja was suspended after threatening to
legally challenge a resolution by the council to demote him to a driver.
Katjatenja apparently failed on numerous occasions to provide proof of the qualifications he claimed to have when he was appointed as administrative officer in 2009.
For this position he needed a diploma in administration/business, which he claimed to have received from Oxford Brooks University. In February he told The Namibian that he just needed to get the original document from South Africa.
Besides that, it came to light that he did not have a Grade 12 qualification either.
When he was not able to show the documents, he was first demoted to public relations officer and community development officer last year, and then to a driver last week.
Katjatenja threatened to challenge the decision through his lawyers, according to Kahua.
“That’s when we suspended him, until we finalise the investigation into how he got the position without the qualifications in the first place,” said Kahua.
Oxford Brooks University confirmed to The Namibian that Katjatenja did complete a Office Administration diploma in 2004.
Katjatenja could not be reached for comment.
HR manager Roswitha Kaura, who headed the department at the time of Katjatenja’s appointment, was suspended for alleged irregular management. She has served as the acting CEO since Werner Iita left for Oshakati last November.
According to Kahua, there were questions about her conduct when it came to implementing council resolutions as acting CEO.
“We have appointed an investigator, and she will be suspended until the findings of the investigation are released,” said Kahua.
Kaura said she did not wish to comment at this stage.
There are also concerns as to how confidential information about the identities of the panelists who would conduct interviews for the vacant CEO position were leaked to the candidates, according to Kahua.
It was for this reason that the position was re-advertised to ensure fairness.
The vacancy was first advertised in November last year.
“After we re-advertised, we received 27 applicants and have already shortlisted seven. The interview process will start shortly,” he said.
Kahua said there are elements in the council who are trying to sabotage the council’s progress, and that this is all politically motivated.
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