Wednesday 21 April 2021
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Kanime says suspension now infringes on his dignity

Suspended head of city police Abraham Kanime has claimed in court documents filed with the Windhoek High Court this week that his continued suspension is a violation of his constitutional rights and dignity. Kanime has now been on suspension for 407 days, a year and a month.
Kanime filed an urgent court application on Monday in an attempt to overturn his lengthy suspension which he described as “unfair, unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
The court hearing will be on Friday 10 May.
In his affidavit, Kanime said it has come to his attention that City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Robert Kahimise and the city council, cited as first and second respondents, have no serious intention to continue with his disciplinary hearing which started on 06 September last year but has not yet been completed.
He has indicated in his affidavit that he had worked hard with the “interest of the city and the whole city community” over the past 19 years.
“My continued suspension is a grave infringement to my dignity and my right to be subject to fair and reasonable adjudicative process as required by article 18 of the Namibian constitution,” he challenged.
He added that since the commencement of his disciplinary hearing, he was only charged on two times, first in September while the second hearing took place on 27 November 2018.
He said that some of the charges brought against him have fallen off through the preliminary legal point raised by lawyer, Sisa Namandje on 27 November last year as they were contrary to the Windhoek municipal police regulations.
Kanime continued that on 10 January this year Kahimise and City of Windhoek council’s lawyer Du Pisani wrote a letter to Namandje where they indicated that they were still waiting for confirmation of the availability of the members of the board of inquiry.
The City of Windhoek lawyer allegedly responded to Kanime’s lawyer on 21 January indicating that it would only proceed with 20 charges, as 45 of the 69 charges brought against him would be dropped.
Namandje was also informed in the same letter that City of Windhoek lawyers would return to him with the requested three possible sets of dates as soon as they have been informed of the availability of the members of the board of inquiry.
But for months after that promise, nothing has been done.
“Mr Sisa Namandje tried to fix dates with the respondent‘s lawyer (CEO and City of Windhoek) but there was no instruction by the respondents to their legal practitioner. In view of the aforesaid, on 08 March 2019 I caused my legal practitioner to write a letter in which he recorded my view that the respondents are deliberately delaying the matter, and also highlighting the fact that because the investigation had been complete sometimes back there was no reason for me to remain on suspension.
My legal practitioner further requested CEO to provide him with the hearing dates but the respondents’ legal practitioner did not respond despite receipt of the letter, causing my legal practitioner to write another letter on 09 April in which, I because of the respondents’ legal practitioners’ silence and delaying tactics, I indicated that an urgent application would have been filed not later than 18 April 2019.
He said he was informed that he would be suspended until the finalisation of the investigation.
“Although I was unhappy that I remained on suspension even after finalisation of the investigation, I was of the view that since the hearing was proceeding during the last quarter of 2018, I could get back to work simply after upon finalisation of the hearing without the necessity of the approaching court to impugn my suspension.
It became clear during or about February, March and April 2019, the first respondent in particular was determined to keep me on suspension while he has no interest in continuation of the disciplinary hearing, probably because he has no belief in the charges he preferred against me. This is because the charges have no merit whatsoever and I was determined to prove my innocence at the hearing. In fact, I deny the allegations in the charge sheet,” he said.
In January this year, President Hage Geingob ordered city council to reinstate both Kanime and Kahimise, but to this day Kanime still sits at home while his counterpart is back in the office.
Before Geingob’s intervention, City of Windhoek corporate legal advisor, Ben Ngairorue, had written to the council in January suggesting that Kanime’s suspension be lifted.
The opinion was allegedly rejected by Mayor Muesee Kazapua.
In the letter, Ngairorue said there are no compelling grounds to keep the Head of City Police on further suspension given the fact that the investigation has long been completed and the disciplinary process has commenced without any incident of potential labour unrest or interference with the witnesses.
“The power to suspend and lift the suspension is discretionary in terms of the Police Service Regulation and can be exercised by the Chief Executive Officer. For the reasons advanced, I advise that the Chief Executive Officer lift the said suspension of Chief Kanime and allow the ongoing disciplinary process to be dispensed with,” Ngairorue wrote.
Ngairorue’s opinion followed a letter by city councillor Moses Shiikwa, last September questioning Kahimise whether Kanime’s suspension was not tantamount to victimisation or constructive dismissal.
Ngairorue confirmed having prepared the opinion but refused to go into details.
When The Patriot asked in March why Kanime was still on suspension, Kahimise who was also on suspension for allegedly by-passing procedures when his study loan of €31,650 (N$534,203) was approved by the former Chairperson of the Management Committee, Mathew Amadhila on 21 February, said the President’s directive was pending Council resolution.
The matter appeared before Council on 28 February and the minutes awaited confirmation on 28 March before he (Kahimise) implemented the Council decision.
He also added that the city has not engaged Kanime since Geingob’s directive. “City will only engage Chief Kanime early April,” he said but he refused to give updates of Kanime’s disciplinary hearing saying that “this remains an internal matter.”
This is the second time Kanime is dragging his employer to court, the first time was in 2017 when he filed an affidavit in the Windhoek High Court alleging interference with his work when the City Police confronted residents who setup illegal structures in the 7de Laan area.
He wanted the court to prohibit Kahimise and the council from interfering in his work.
He also claimed in the affidavit that he was being ‘ignored’ and ‘threatened’.
Kanime’s enemies within the council accuse him of running the affairs of the City Police on his own terms and that he refuses to report to Kahimise.

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