By Confidente Reporter
CONTROVERSY is brewing over the more than N$130 000 reportedly claimed by Otavi town council CEO Moses Matyayi citing leave days, Confidente has learnt.
Sources close to council said that Matyayi allegedly claimed N$133 081.68 from council coffers for alleged accrued leave days last month raising eyebrows as he allegedly also attended his wedding at around the same time. It is also reported that he keeps his employment file in his office and not with HR. The town’s Mayor, Martha Shipanga reportedly endorsed the payment. “We don’t know how he got that amount because his file as an employee is kept in his office. No one has access to his file or knows what is contained in it,” said a source on condition of anonymity. The matter amongst other burning issues dogging the beleaguered council was highlighted in a petition by disgruntled Otavi residents who also demanded the stepping down of Matyayi and five councillors over gross allegations of mismanagement, favouritism, nepotism and poor service delivery.
Sources however said that Matyayi at the time avoided the peaceful demonstrators having tasked the financial manager to receive the petition on council’s behalf. “We have no confidence in the current town council members and demand the subsequent withdrawal of the CEO and its councillors Martha Shipanga (Swapo), George Garab (deputy mayor, Swapo), Merlyn Stein (deputy chair, Swapo), Timo Shipandeni (Swapo) and Fred Grundeling (DTA).
“The Otavi town council is ruled with an iron fist and arrogance by its dictatorial CEO who does not take orders from its councilors and does things as he wish and without council resolutions. He has so much power that he is always never in office and always out of town and we wonder who signs his leave as his personal file also remains in his office and on him. Whilst Otavi is dirty and sanitation and water is not accessible for most of the communities. Councillors have become toothless dogs that they do not take action against the CEO although having the power to do so,” the petition reads in part.
In a bid to promote his image, Matyayi reportedly paid N$60 000 to be featured in a local magazine without council blessing. Many argued that the money could have been used to better service delivery.
Contacted for comment, Matyayi initially said that he was aware of the petition but preferred to respond to the allegations via email. “Those are serious allegations that I laughed about. I’d rather respond to questions via email because I do not want a situation where I am misquoted or whatever I say is not used,” Matyayi said.
Matyayi on second thoughts said that he was not aware of the petition saying that someone could be behind it. “These are new allegations I am not aware off. It could be that someone is writing these petitions and is not forwarding them to relevant authorities but only to the media.”
He however did not respond to questions sent to him via email at the time of going to print.
Mayor Shipanga also said that she is aware of the allegations but declined to entertain questions by Confidente on the matter via telephone. “I am aware of the allegations but I cannot talk on the phone,” Shipanga said.
Last month, a daily reported that the rural and urban development ministry asked the council to explain numerous allegations of nepotism, tender irregularities, corruption and the CEO’s contract renewal following a letter by a whistleblower to Urban Minister Sophia Shaningwa.
The whistleblower asked the minister to investigate the extension of the five-year contract of the town’s chief executive (Matyayi) whose alleged sins include claims that investments of the town council are unclear; dubious allocation of land; tender irregularities, and preferential treatment in the employment processes at the council.
The whistleblower said the CEO’s contract was prematurely ended in June to hand him a new five-year deal, even though his term was supposed to end in November this year. At the time, Matyayi said he was not aware of the questions by the ministry, but said they are open to any type of investigation.
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