By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK THE Walvis Bay Municipality on Monday suspended its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Augustinus Katiti and the General Manager Murongo Haingura on allegations of contravening its credit control policy. The policy gives guidance on the cutting of water and electricity supply seven days after a client fails to pay the bill, unless arrangements have been made with the relevant desk at the municipality. Based on the allegations reported in one of the coastal newspapers The Namib Times, the CEO, the GM and four other junior municipal officials have been getting preferential treatment when it comes to footing their bills on water and electricity. According to one source, the bills have accumulated to between N$5 000 and N$7 000 in the past few months without their services being cut. The municipality was reluctant to reveal the names of the junior officials. According to the release by the Walvis Bay Municipality, the six were suspended on Monday after an extra-ordinary council meeting preceded a special management committee meeting. The public relations officer for the Walvis Bay municipality Utaara Hoveka told New Era that the investigations would ascertain whether or not the accused were treated within the boundaries of the stated policy in settling their monthly bills. “Their suspension is to allow investigations into these allegations to be carried out unhindered. The council will soon appoint an external auditing firm to assess the credit situation, particularly with regard to employee accounts,” read the municipal statement. It is not known how long the investigations will take and would also determine when the six, who are on suspension with full pay, would resume work. In the meantime, the council has appointed the General Manager for Water, Waste and Environment Management Andre Brummer as acting CEO. Brummer indicated that his office had already contacted five auditing firms based in Walvis Bay and other two firms that have always done the auditing for the institution. The seven are expected to submit their quotations by tomorrow midday. “We hope to finalise the matter as soon as possible,” he stated. Hoveka also confirmed that the council had informed the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, John Pandeni of its decision. The minister could not be reached for comment.
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