Khorixas disciplinary hearing postponedBy: DENVER KISTING
EVANS Maswahu, a senior official in the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, yesterday recused himself from a disciplinary hearing at Khorixas.
Maswahu was supposed to chair the disciplinary hearing of the Khorixas town council's finance manager, Amingo Honneb. The deputy human resources director yesterday said the move came after Honneb said he would not receive a fair hearing before Maswahu. “The accused feels uncomfortable.”
According to Maswahu, Minister Jerry Ekandjo would have to appoint a new chairperson. He could not say how long this process would take.
Upon enquiry, Honneb confirmed the latest developments.
On Sunday, he alleged that the charges against him were concocted.
Honneb 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.”
On Sunday, Honneb added that Maswahu is biased.
This came after Maswahu allegedly had secret meetings with Nicodemus Gaeseb, the chief executive officer (CEO).
The disciplinary hearing was scheduled to start yesterday.
According to the suspended official, he faces ten charges, ranging from insubordination to 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, has a criminal trial pending and remains at the helm of the council.
Maswahu on Sunday 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.”
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.