By Catherine Sasman
Embattled CEO of the Rehoboth Town Council, Theo Jankowski, yesterday denied all charges made against him by the town council, describing the spat between him and the council as an unfortunate power struggle.
The town council on Wednesday called a press briefing in which it said that Jankowski had failed to supervise and execute tasks delegated to him, adding that he is inept to deal with municipal issues and not able to interpret the Local Authorities Act.
Jankowski had earlier claimed that the council suspended him, but mayor George Dax denied this claim.
The council, however, issued a long statement with allegations of incompetence on the part of Jankowski, and saying that the CEO was verbally reprimanded on various occasions as a result.
Some of the charges against Jankowski include that he has breached trust; and he is accused of gross insubordination, a lack of strategic leadership, and not executing valid and legitimate instructions decided upon by the council and its management committee.
Jankowski also stands accused for not signing a performance agreement for a year, non-performance, lack of organisational control, and abuse of his office for political gain.
The statement from the Rehoboth Town Council said that as a result, Jankowski tried to discredit the “very council which brought about development and change” to the town, and that he ‘labelled’ the council.
The council said Jankowski had failed to complete an amnesty report that was due for submission to the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development and the Office of the President. He reportedly also did not submit financial reports for 2005/06 and 2006/07, and he was allegedly “not involved” in the compilation of the 2008/09 budgets.
Other allegations against Jankowski are that he did not bring about a turnaround management strategy for almost one year that he has been in office.
He has reportedly also failed to pay NamWater for five months, while not informing the council.
“Council adheres to the tender board regulations and passes special resolutions on ad hoc matters, based on merit and sound governance practices in the primary interest of the people of Rehoboth. There are specific agreements with all service providers and the allegations made about undue payments to service providers is misguided and do not reflect the true contents of the agreements,” the council said.
It went on to say that it is not a platform to settle political scores “for past political failures of certain individuals”, and that it is of the opinion that “certain individuals endeavour to derail the political stability in the hope to establish support for other groups by trying to discredit the SWAPO Party indirectly”.
Jankowski said that the allegations levelled against him are trumped up charges made by members of the council, and not a fully constituent council of the town.
He insisted that he had been suspended when mayor Dax told him to “go home” without giving him a written notice.
He said when a delegation from the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development arrived in Rehoboth for a visit, he was summoned to the mayor’s office where he was told that he had been suspended for the duration of the visit.
According to him, the delegation approached the mayor and asked him to lift the suspension during that time, but, said Jankowski, the suspension was not lifted, despite the fact that the mayor informed the delegation otherwise.
He said neither the council nor the management committee could provide proof of a notice or minutes of suspension, though.
Jankowski said when he did not vacate his office, councillor I. Ihalwa threatened of “other methods to deal with the situation”. After this, he said, the lock on his office door was changed.
Because his suspension was not lifted, said Jankowski, the ministerial delegation returned to Windhoek.
“A lack of cooperation by the council was given as a reason to stop the investigation,” said Jankowski.
He maintained the allegations against him are “baseless” and an attempt to “vilify and denigrate” him.