City of Windhoek spokesman Harold Akwenye yesterday confirmed that City Police chief Abraham Kanime is serving the remaining days of his employment following his resignation last month.
This revelation contradicts the position of Windhoek mayor, Fransina Kahungu, who earlier this week claimed that the City Council had agreed to extend the employment contract of Kanime indefinitely. Akwenye however, said the appointment of the chief is governed by police regulations. The council does not have the power to extend the contract of someone who has resigned as per those regulations.
“They may only retain the services of someone who has not resigned yet,’ Akwenye said, adding, “the appointment should be recommended in terms of the regulations and no such recommendation was made by the CEO to the council.”
The Windhoek Observer has learned that, in fact, the Chief Executive Officer has already started the process to recruit a new head of the City Police. This was also confirmed by Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday.
According to Ndeitunga the national security cluster has already vetted a candidate to replace Kanime last month, although he would not be drawn into revealing names.
“News of the extension of Kanime’s contract came as a surprise to me. As far as I am concerned, the matter has been dealt with procedurally and it remains an internal matter of the City of Windhoek,” Ndeitunga said yesterday.
“We (the security cluster) have done our job in accordance with the Police Service Act, which prescribes the procedures to be followed. Our job is done and I cannot indulge further in this issue.”
This week, Kahungu announced that the city council had agreed to extend the employment contract of Kanime following an extra-ordinary session of the council last week.
The announcement drew strong reaction from the public and political parties alike, who questioned the decision of the council. Kanime had previously communicated his intention to go on early retirement on 30 April.
Chief Kanime, no stranger to controversy, turns 60 on 19 May this year. Efforts to extend his employment contract by the SWAPO Party led council, led to threats to sue the city by the Secretary General of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and councillor Josef Kauandenge this week.
The relationship between Kanime and police chief Ndeitunga has not always been an easy one in the past, flaring up intermittently when it came to jurisdictional issues and seniority.