“Top cops who want more money are greedy”
By Eliaser Ndeyanale
CITY of Windhoek chief executive officer Robert Kahimise has accused 14 City Police superintendents of being “greedy” for demanding that they be paid a collective N$6.55 million allegedly owed to them.
The superintendents approached Windhoek High Court last month and again this month to get a writ of execution to attach nine municipal vehicles, including the official vehicle of Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua and his deputy Loide Kaiyamo.
However, Kahimise approached the High Court on an urgent basis last week to block the superintendents from attaching any vehicles by asking that their writ of execution be aside. The officers, whose names are known to Confidente, wanted to sell the cars on public auction to recover N$6.55 million they say is owed to them in back pay.
Two weeks ago one of the superintendents confiscated three City Police vehicles valued at around N$1.7 million. The vehicles that were attached at the time included the official vehicle of City Police chief Abraham Kanime, a Toyota Fortuner, and two Golf 7s.
Last week, 13 senior City Police officials approached the High court for a writ of execution to attach another nine cars, including Kazapua and his deputy Kaiyamo’s official vehicles.
Kazapua told Confidente last week that he was not aware of any such plans. The chairperson of the management committee Agatha Iiyambo this week said she was not aware of it either. “To be honest, I am not aware of it. Maybe you can ask the CEO,” she said.
Contacted for comment, Kahimise said the City does not owe superintendents anything, because they were graded from grade c4 to c5 after a job evaluation that was recommended by Council at the time, and subsequently got a salary increment.
“The truth is there was a job evaluation, all the superintendents were on C4. You must know all the section heads in the City of Windhoek they start from C4 to D2, depending on your job content and your job profile. Which you were supposed to understand.
‘I mean, you can’t say I am a section head although you don’t do the same work. There are section heads that are doing engineering work and that are also professionals, you can’t be paid the same. That’s why there is a range between C4 up to D2 as far as section heads are concerned.
“City Police who are senior superintendents were on C4. So, there was a recommendation during a job evaluation that all City Police grades must move by two grades. That is crazy. It’s a lot of financial implication to Council. That was the recommendation of the chief (Kanime)… I reduced it to one grade across the board.
“They moved from C4 to C5. Everyone moved by one grade. They were not happy. They were convinced and... They went to court. They didn’t get what they want apart from a writ, which they tried to execute now, which was irregularly obtained. Fraudulent, as far as I know, it’s fraud. That was fraudulently done. It was reserved over the weekend whatever they fraudulently obtained. All those vehicles you are talking about have already been released. But this case is continuing.
“Now the issue of Vatileni and this is why these people are not honest. Already when they were on C4, Vatileni was already on C5. They must explain why Vatileni was on C5. Due to the history, which… some of us find there, he was on C5, I understand he came in to Gerry Shikesho’s position, which was a C5. So, that is the history.
“When a job grading came, if you move everyone, where will Vatileni go? He is going to D1 because we moved everyone by one grade. Imagine if we move everyone by one grade, as it was recommended, where will Vatileni go?
“I have told them, finalise your job description. Let’s have a job description regraded; that is the right way to do a regrading. They refused. They just demand, ‘put us on D1’. Now you have financial implications and they are not lowly paid. N$6 million to Council while we are struggling to provide basic services to people at the informal settlement. It’s unacceptable.
“They are not happy, they are in court… it’s unacceptable. These are section heads that are getting nothing less than N$65,000 a month. It’s crazy, not even a director in government can get that and they still want more. It’s greedy man, it’s unacceptable,” he said in a telephonic interview with Confidente this week.
Kahimise said in the court documents that the cops are not entitled to benefit from the writ as it was unlawfully obtained and the court order of 20 August was unenforceable.
“I am afraid the conduct of the respondents, who are members of the City Police, amount to abuse of process of court.” He further said there was “compelling circumstances” for the court to order the cops to pay Council’s costs on attorney and client scale.
He said the arbitration award of 18 July and Labour Court order of 20 August contained no order that the City should pay the senior officers N$6.5 million, or any specific amount.
“I am advised that the said arbitration award and court order are unenforceable, hence the superintendents went back to the arbitrator, in violation of Section 88 of the Labour Act, to vary the said award on 10 October 2019. Simply put, the arbitrator acted beyond the powers proscribed by Section 88 of the Labour act,” he stated in the court documents.
The superintendents dragged the muncipality to the Labour Court some two years ago after it failed to honour an alleged promise to pay them money owed to them since 1 July 2017.
They said Kahimise had promised them that their salaries would be brought on par with their colleague, Abraham Vatileni, who had been graded above his colleagues. But this did not happen after Kanime and Kahimise were temporarily suspended last year.