Council Slaps Ban on Suspended Official

0
10

By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK THE suspended Rundu Town Clerk, Lukas Muhepa, has questioned the Rundu Town Council’s ban on him to visit their offices or to talk to employees. Muhepa yesterday complained that despite his suspension early this year, he was still a client of the council and would continue to visit the offices to settle his monthly municipal bills as long as he incurs these bills. “On Monday when I went there to ask for my statements, I was told not to go there anymore. This was never indicated to me in my charge sheet. For me, I see that is not fair. The case is still with the lawyers and it’s been taken care of,” he stated. Muhepa, who has been living in a government house since his appointment as town clerk, was asked to move out of the house to make room for a newly-appointed magistrate. “At least before 15 January 2006, I should be out of the government house and will go to my private house. I am renting my house to someone who is using it for construction and on Monday I went to council to find out the outstanding amounts so that I can settle them and tell the person who is renting my house to settle before moving out,” he explained. Muhepa, who served the council for the past 13 years, was suspended in March this year on a litany of alleged irregularities but his case has never been heard because of disagreement between the town council and the line ministry over the appointment of the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing. The council claimed that the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development had refused to appoint a presiding officer for the hearing, something it has done with other councils. However, the ministry rejected the claim stating that it was under the impression that it was the council’s duty to run the hearing. The ministry would merely act as observer and is still considering the offer. Muhepa yesterday said the chairman of the Management Committee of the Rundu Town Council, Christoph Kudumo, had no right to ban him and to order people not to talk to him, as some of the people are his relatives. “I was born in this region. Some of them, we are related and we worked together and grew up together. We don’t know each other because we work together but because of our history – who we grew up as,” he said. He said this was not the first time an incident like this had happened. One July evening, one of the wheels of the vehicle he was driving in with his wife burst and although he had a spare wheel, he did not have a jack with him and was assisted by a council worker who was passing by. “He was asked to explain why he was talking to me and told not to talk to me. If a person is suspended, the case has a name. This is not fair,” he stated. Kudumo could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.