Oshakati Town has finally gotten a chief executive officer after one year and six months of political wrangling and dillydallying over the “right” candidate.
Mr Werner Iita had resigned a few weeks before the November 2019 parliamentary elections in order for him to vie for a position in parliament on the ticket of the ruling party. When he failed to secure a seat at the National Assembly he returned to the town council and asked to be given back his position.
The council was divided. Some wanted him to come back, while other councillors refused to entertain his return. As a result of the squabbling and backbiting some of the town’s councillors were withdrawn by their own party, so that political leadership at the town came to a standstill.
During the stand-off which lasted for more than 18 months there was one man who was serving in the CEO’s office in an acting capacity. Mr Kornelius Kapolo was roped in from his position as manager of public health and environmental management to act as the town’s CEO, not knowing that his stint was going to last longer than expected due to political wrangling.
While there was also a brief period when Ms Helena Thomas was said to have been brought in to serve as acting CEO for a few months, it was Kapolo who went much of the hog in service of the town in that acting role.
Omutumwa reached out to Kapolo to find out whether it was due to the fact that he was doing a good job that the town’s political leaders kept him for long in the CEO’s office while they haggled over someone else whom they considered to be the “right” candidate for the position.
“I’m the man of delivering; you can see how Oshakati is flourishing now. You can see Sky is moving. You can see Ekuku is now at Okatana Mission,” Kapolo responded.
“There were a lot of complications, a lot of challenges. You know those complications which I went through [while in that office]. But I steered the ship through the storms.”
When asked if his salary was adjusted during the period he served as acting CEO of the town, Kapolo chuckled.
“Ha haha haahaaa! What adjustment? What is important is that I assisted this council, this is my home town and I was not hesitating to assist. What is important to me is the opportunity that I was accorded to serve and prove that I can serve our people.
“Now I can walk around Oshakati and see [that] this is what we delivered, not money in my pocket. But you can talk to the HR. Money matters are sometimes confidential, but you can talk to the HR.”
[The town’s HR manager Mr Erastus Anguku was not available when his office was called.]
When asked whether he was not being overlooked when the town was looking for a CEO while people were satisfied with his performance, Kapolo said, “It’s part of life.”
“I am happy; I said I’m happy, only I don’t want to talk about remuneration.”
In the photo: Former acting CEO of Oshakati Town Council Mr Kornelius Kapolo.