Abraham Kanime, who was on Monday suspended as the head of the Windhoek City Police, yesterday blamed the move on what he calls a “witch-hunt” against him.
City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise, with the blessing of the city council, placed Kanime on suspension until further notice.
A defiant Kanime says Kahimise has in the past fabricated evidence against him but the CEO had apparently failed in all his vindictive shenanigans.
Kanime said the CEO has now suspended him on allegations of spending unauthorised public funds.
Kanime also termed his suspension as hatred towards him, explaining that every other week he had to respond to nasty letters from Kahimise’s right-hand man.
Kanime was responding to New Era yesterday on his suspension with immediate effect on Monday afternoon by Kahimise in a move that has elicited mixed reactions on public media platforms.
In the meantime, City Police senior superintendent Nathaniel Nendongo was appointed as City Police acting chief by Kahimise. Kanime was suspended with his full basic pay after he explained during a late council meeting on Monday his reasons why he was entitled to full pay.
In the interview, Kanime revealed to New Era that in less than three months after Kahimise’s appointment as the CEO in 2017 he had offered Kanime a retirement package which he (Kanime) turned down. Kanime was 57 years old at the time.
“Secondly, in order to frustrate me,” Kanime said, “they wanted to remove the support service department (human resources department), but that also failed because of the intervention by the then urban and rural development minister (Sophia Shaningwa),” whom sources feel sympathises with Kanime.
“Later they came up with a contract – they wanted to put me on contract but if you read the contract it’s ‘nothing’ where they say within four weeks they can give me a notice for termination without any discussion. What I can say is they were trying many, many things,” remarked the embattled Kanime. Kanime has in the meantime consulted with his lawyer Sisa Namandje and he wants the CEO to formulate the charges against him.
Kanime further told New Era that since 2014 he experienced a lot of interference in City Police operations concerning the closure of illegal car washes, liquor outlets and land invasions spearheaded by the landless. He added that they also wanted him (Kanime) to discuss security matters with just anybody. Kanime said thereafter he lodged a grievance against the councillors and senior executives.
“As a result, on behalf of the department, I put in a grievance so that they can hand it over to the relevant people in the security cluster (advisory committee) but they refused to do that. What I did, I took them to court to compel them to submit those grievances to the relevant authority,” stated Kanime, adding that he had informed them in writing that they will pay for his legal fees.
Kanime said he had requested the City of Windhoek to pay for his legal fees and this resulted in him being charged with financial mismanagement.
However, Kanime feels the alleged mismanagement of funds do not hold water as he does not touch money, nor does he have signatory powers.
At yesterday’s press briefing Kahimise stated he suspended Kanime following a preliminary internal audit investigation that revealed Kanime might find himself guilty of serious misconduct.
“The allegation, which I can only put in simple terms, has to do with unauthorised expenditure, or spending of public funds, which we expect to be revealed by the said investigation,” said the CEO.
Kahimise explained that the suspension is warranted to allow for a proper investigation and for the smooth running of operations of the City Police.
Kahimise stated the investigation is expected not to go beyond two months. “It can be done in a month but it should not go beyond two months. As you know Chief Kanime is suspended with full pay, so we would not want to waste council money,” Kahimise said. When Kahimise was asked about his relationship with Kanime and that Kanime at some point stated that he was working under ‘threat and was ignored’, Kahimise responded that with his arrival at the City of Windhoek there were no personal issues between him and Kanime.
“We need to acknowledge reality, that with my arrival the reporting authority had to follow the provision of the law. I am coming from a corporate world and I was brought here with a clear mandate to transform the institution and be accountable to the public,” said Kahimise.
“Those who had access to the legal documents of the High Court, it was all about interference of council and my office in the work of Chief Kanime but equally the same case was withdrawn because as far as I know there was no basis to advance the interference of council or myself in the work of the City Police,” stated the CEO.