Okahandja CEO in hot water

17 October 2014 Author   Rochelle Neidel

Front Okahanja 17 OctTHE Okahandja Town Council has ordered its chief executive officer Frans Enkali to appear before a disciplinary hearing this Friday.

his follows a decision by the council to bring charges against Enkali that range from misconduct to misappropriation of funds.

Enkali allegedly took leave without approval, paid N$8 million to NamPower from council funds and implemented a salary scale that has stripped the coffers of the council bare.

Mayor of the Okahandja Town Council Valerie Aron apparently called an urgent extra-ordinary council meeting on Monday this week.

Those who attended the meeting apart from Aron included the deputy mayor Niklaas Steenkamp, council chairperson Simson Mieze and two other members of the council Friedrich Shimanda and Selma Itoolwa.

During the meeting, the mayor informed those present that council would appoint Conradie and Damaseb legal firm as its legal representative in the case filed against Enkali.

The CEO confirmed the charges brought against him, but refused to comment on the matter. “It is a legal matter and I don’t want to talk about it,” he said.

Sources within the council said the mayor and the CEO had been at loggerheads in recent months.

 “There is never a council meeting were we discuss matters without the mayor and the CEO fighting each other.

“We as councillors even asked that they resolve the tensions between them because it affects the day to day running of the council,” a UDF councillor said.

When contacted for comment the mayor snapped “I am in the middle of something; can’t talk now so just call the chairperson,” before she put the phone down.

Some councillors claimed the mayor had kept them in the dark about the issue and accused her of practising favouritism amongst council members and holding secret meetings.

One councillor, who preferred to remain anonymous, said it was inappropriate for the mayor to consult lawyers regarding council matters without a council resolution.

“We as councillors are supposed to have seen the charges before she went to seek legal advice, but some of us haven’t seen it,” the councillor said.

Sources within council said relations between the mayor and the CEO turned sour after Enkali had allegedly taken decisions at the municipality without the consent of the council.

Allegations of corruption, mismanagement of funds and misconduct have rocked the Okahandja Town Council on numerous occasions over the past decade and a half, and the latest incident is by no means a new development.

Again, this is not the first time that Enkali has come under fire from the council which previously suspended him after allegations of misappropriation of funds, unauthorised expenditure as well abuse of powers surfaced. The council later reinstated him.

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