Residents of Usakos and other stakeholders feel the town has retrogressed and want the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to intervene to arrest the situation.
Residents, who raised their concern early this week, say chaos is the order of the day at the Usakos Town Council – which they prophesy could soon be downgraded to a village council if the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development does not intervene as soon as possible.
Describing their town’s affairs as a ticking time bomb, residents say they have been operating without a CEO as well as a finance manager and the town council is not taking any decisions to the benefit of the town and its inhabitants.
The embattled CEO of Usakos, Gruz Goseb, was suspended in April this year. Prior to the latest suspension, Goseb was also suspended in 2013.
Council is yet to formulate charges against him, while the finance manager of Usakos Town Council Elizabeth Uupindi resigned recently.
On Tuesday morning, the council held interviews to fill the position for the finance manager.
New Era has learnt from some employees that the Usakos Town Council wants to appoint a certain Reinhold Evenson, who works at Henties Bay Municipality, as a senior staffer.
“However, the interview panellist did not show up and an ad hoc panel was put together, which consisted of a certain Mr Uiseb – who also served as a finance manager at an earlier stage, an employee of the Youth Centre in Usakos linked to one of the councillors, as well as the council’s technical manager, while the mayor observed the proceedings,” stated an insider source.
“The panel was totally incompetent to interview and it was certainly also not a resolution to appoint an ad hoc panel either,” one source said.
Five people were apparently interviewed.
Sources claim decisions are being taken without proper consultations and money is being spent like there is no tomorrow, as councillors apparently go on suspicious trips to claim subsistence and travel (S&T) allowances.
Employees said Usakos Mayor Gustav !Hoaeb as well as other councillors only act in their own interests and they do not take the town’s severely depleted finances into consideration.
“The mayor is currently operating from the finance manager’s office and the councillors are undertaking trips to claim subsidence and travel allowances while they know our finances are drained,” said an insider that request anonymity.
New Era was also informed that so far since February this year the Usakos Town Council has only held three council meetings when they are expected to hold at least one monthly council meeting.
“The council dismissed the meetings calendar and meetings are now held on an ad hoc basis. Council resolves matters as they wish and it does not follow the agenda thus agendas and minutes do not correlate, our records are not accurate and the end results are not based on the decisions taken by council,” a source says.
Since the suspension of the CEO, no one is in charge of the administration and this has resulted in councillors running the institution, including taking direct charge of its depleted coffers.
“We are appealing to the governor and the ministry to come and see for themselves what is happening in Usakos,” said one of the workers.
When contacted for comment, the mayor admitted that interviews were conducted on Monday and that a new panel had to conduct the interviews, as the initial panel did not show up.
He dismissed the allegation that the panel is incompetent and claims that there is a free-for-all when it comes to trips. He said trips are only undertaken based on invitations received.
“We are currently trying to get our affairs in order by trying to appoint the right people, as for the other complaints we will respond later,” !Hoaeb said.