NSFAF CEO, board dismissals issue before Cabinet

Public enterprises minister Leone Jooste yesterday said the issue of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund chief executive officer and the board is before the Cabinet.

The Villager reported last month that the attorney general Sacky Shanghala had written to Jooste and higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi recommending that the NSFAF board should be fired.

This is the first time Jooste has confirmed that he had indeed received Shanghala's recommendation to deal with the mess at NSFAF. (see the first story Jooste wins case to fire NSFAF board, CEO published on 22 September 2017 https://www.thevillager.com.na/articles/11620/jooste-wins-case-to-fire-nsfaf-board-ceo-/ )

Jooste's confirmation comes when NSFAF has not been able to pay fees ahead of the examinations.

Shanghala's decision was based on a report that was compiled on the behest of Jooste regarding several issues at the fund.

One of the issues was the bad blood between the CEO Hilya Nghiwete, and the Patty Karuaihe-Martin led board.

Shanghala suggested that since the removal of the board is a statutory issue, Kandjii-Murangi should write to them asking them to show cause as to why they should not be removed. 

A copy of the draft letter Shanghala sent to Kandjii-Murangi invites each of the board members to make representations as to why they should not be removed as per section 7(3) of the NSFAF Act, 2000.

                      

The board members would be required to make their written representations within 14 days after receiving the letter. 

In case they failed to meet the deadline, the letter says, the members would be deemed to have no objections to their removal Shanghala, however, was clear on that dismissing the CEO would not be easy because of the issue of victimisation by the board.

“I have met with the CEO in efforts to negotiate her exit solution or terms, as per the discussion I had with you and Honourable Jooste. 

“I acknowledge that the treatment of the CEO by the board amounts to victimisation and undermines her role as the accounting officer and head of the institution,” Shanghala wrote.

“While we have agreed to let go of the CEO,” Shanghala wrote, “I am of the opinion that it may take some time seeing as how we have to negotiate the contractual terms related to her exit,” Shanghala reveals that he consulted the Prime Minister Saara Kuungogelwa-Amadhila regarding the issue of the CEO’s dismissal and was advised to leave it to the new board.

Jooste refused to give details of the issue because Cabinet is yet to decide whether to fire the board or both the board and the CEO. 

Kandjii-Murangi could not comment yesterday, saying that she was outside the country.

"If you have anything to ask, now that you are talking about the minister of public enterprises, you go and ask him. 

"He is probably back in the country. I am out of the country, and I will be able to deal with that maybe a week or two once I am back," she said without indicating where exactly she was. 

Karuaihe-Martin asked The Villager to forward questions.

Communication and marketing department official said: "Not everyone got their money both students from local institutions and those studying overseas but we are currently busy facilitating everything and as soon as everything is done the students will receive funds.

"As soon as there is enough money students will get their money but if not, unfortunately, some students will have to wait a little bit longer."

The managers have been in a meeting the whole day discussing this issue and will be resolved soon.