Khorixas suspends ‘whistleblower’By: DENVER KISTING
THE finance manager of the Khorixas town council faces a disciplinary hearing this week after charges were allegedly concocted against him.
Amingo Honneb yesterday said he was suspended in January after he cooperated with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during a graft probe at the council last year. “The ACC launched an investigation about missing money and I spoke the truth. Since then, there has been a witch-hunt against me.”
Moreover, Honneb says, the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing elected by the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Jerry Ekandjo, is biased.
This came after Evans Maswahu, the deputy human resources director, allegedly had secret meetings with Nicodemus Gaeseb, the chief executive officer (CEO), Honneb says.
The disciplinary hearing is scheduled to start on Wednesday.
According to the suspended official, he faces ten charges, ranging from insubordination, gross negligence, refusing to carry out a lawful instruction, disregard for orders and bringing the council’s name into disrepute.
These charges were invented, he maintained.
Gaeseb, who is at the centre of the ACC investigation and who has a criminal trial pending, remains at the helm of the council.
Maswahu yesterday denied that he had any secret meetings. “This is not my first disciplinary hearing. I know the procedures. I went to Khorixas to inform people facing disciplinary hearings when [such] hearings will take place.”
Asked about the allegation that the charges were concocted against Honneb, Maswahu said: “He says that. I cannot confirm it.”
Earlier, it was reported that Ekandjo was considering taking action against the Khorixas town council after its refusal to discipline officials and councillors implicated in corruption.
However, the town council replied to a letter by Ekandjo’s and said that it would not take action as the accused, in terms of the Constitution, “are innocent until proven guilty”.
Ekandjo insisted that a “proper investigation” into the allegations of the ACC needs to be done internally. Should any merits be found, disciplinary action against the relevant people needs to be instituted, he wrote.
Ekandjo late last year denied that he interfered with council matters.
It is believed that the implicated council members are blocking an internal probe.
Three council members – Gaeseb, its human corporate affairs and human resources officer, Eben Xoagub, and the housing and property officer, Daniel Geiseb, are facing corruption charges involving around N$400 000.
The trio and Xoagub’s wife, Berlinda Xoagus, a Swapo councillor, her brother, Jeremias Kheimseb, Isaskar Ganeb, Elrey Esau, also a ruling party councillor, and Reverend Barry Goamub were arrested by the ACC in October last year after allegedly concocting a fictitious tender.
It is alleged that this was done to cover up a cash shortage at the local post office where Xoagus was the postmaster.
The three council employees returned to their offices after being released on bail.
Their trial will take place in the Khorixas Regional Court in July 2012. Esau and Reverend Goamub were granted bail of N$30 000, while their six co-accused were granted bail of N$70 000 each.