Infighting cripples Disability Council

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Chairperson of the National Disability Council Meliherius Haukambe and Piasta Shihepo-Armas (standing) at a media briefing yesterday.

WINDHOEK – After the suspension of the CEO of the National Disability Council, Martin Limbo, this week there has been a steady torrent of angry and combative text messages from Limbo to his superiors.

Limbo has declared ‘war’ on his superiors as it were. Chairperson of the National Disability Council, Meliherius Haukambe, and Head of Department for Research and Development Tjiueza Tjombumbi both received threatening messages exposing the depth of anger of the suspended CEO. New Era has copies of the messages from Limbo. Tjombumbi said on the evening of September 18, Limbo sent him six text messages from his official mobile phone all seen by New Era. One of the messages read: “Mr Tjombumbi I am well informed u and ur herero group are on a mission to make sure that the so called financial investigation report implicate me so that the council wll nt pay severance pay. Apparently u want me to pay back the funds whch I don’t even no.

Just try it. I wll also as of nw declare war on u. Dont forget hw u corruptly got into the council and the expenditure of hd and sign language interpretpat linqua whch u engineerd. Tommorow my war against u and ur crew will be officially launchd (sic).” Another message send to Haukambe read: “for ur information I also briefed the founding father of issues and corruption of hereroism breeding at the council in the meeting I held with hm today at 11hrs. He s well informed. Next week I wl be seeing the president, the prime minister and the ombudsman. I wl expose the council and its leadership coz that’s what u guyz want don’t play with me im well and politically connected (sic).”

Haukambe said neither him nor Tjombumbi replied to any of the messages from Limbo. “All we did is we printed all of them and forwarded them to the Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi and his special advisor,” said Haukambe. Limbo admitted sending the messages saying he could not understand the sudden fuss over them. “I was sending these messages outside official hours, this should be a police matter not a work matter,” thundered an angry Limbo.

Asked why he was dragging politicians into the matter he responded he was not implicating anyone in the matter, but admitted he did brief politicians. “I am a Swapo member what is the problem with me briefing my fellow comrades about what was happening,” he shot back. During a media briefing yesterday chaired by Member of Parliament Alexia Manombe-Ncube, Haukambe explained the reasons behind Limbo’s suspension, attributing it to negligence among others. Other allegations, include the fleecing of council funds, insubordination and threatening behaviour against council members, as well as his subordinates. Limbo denied the allegations.

Haukambe further accused Limbo of unprocedural recruitment practices, including the recruitment of the Administrator, Finance and Human Resources, while the candidate was the sixth best during interviews, while the cleaner interviewed and recruited another  cleaner, allegations which Limbo vigorously denied. “This is all lies, how could I have recruited that cleaner if I later suspended him,” he said. However, Limbo reported the council to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for not following the right procedures in recruiting Tjombumbi, which is now under investigation by the ACC. In his own defence Haukambe dismissed the charge as laughable, because the recruitment of Tjombumbi took place in 2011 and Limbo was part of the panel which recruited him. “But we should leave that for the ACC to investigate,” he said.

 

By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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