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Nghiwete’s fate not sealed yet at NSFAF

by Kelvin Chiringa

Under fire chief executive officer for the Namibia Students' Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) Hilya Nghiwete is still hanging on by the hook as no decision has been taken yet to either relieve her of her duties or maintain her position.

This has been confirmed to the Villager in an exclusive interview with the public enterprises; minister Leon Jooste at the sideline of a Public-Private Partnerships conference held in the capital yesterday.

“There are no formal decisions (that) have been taken yet and investigations were done, and various issues were exposed,” he said.

The minister also said the decision to fire or keep Nghiwete is in the hands of the NSFAF board and not solely on his shoulders as has been widely speculated.

However, the term for the board expires on the first of January, and the replacement board needs to be appointed at this present time, Jooste said. 

"The minister of higher education has to take the item to the cabinet for approval. She is aware of that, so I am expecting that to be tabled in the cabinet as soon as possible,” said the minister. 

 The Villager has reported that ministers Leon Jooste (Public Enterprises), Itah Kandjii-Murangi (Higher Education) and Attorney General Sacky Shanghala had agreed that Nghiwete and the board led by Patty Karuaihe-Martin should pack and go. 

This comes after this publication had gleaned on an email in which Shanghala had told Jooste that Prime Minister Saara Kuungogelwa-Amadhila had told him that the board can be fired with immediate effect and that Nghiwete would then be dealt with by the new board.

However, Jooste has suggested to this publication that the current board can also decide to fire Nghiwete.

Managers at NSFAF have accused Nghiwete of incompetence, and in an eight-page document made available to The Villager, they accused her of lies, misleading them, conniving and “instigated against each other to serve the personal interest of the CEO in joining her campaign or strategy to frustrate a colleague out of work.”

They accused her of causing divisions in the management team as well as the entire NSFAF family. 

“Although the CEO does all this,” the managers further claimed, “she likes to play the victim while she is the author of the misfortunes. “Almost each one of us has had a personal encounter and experience about the above with the CEO, which left the team with emotional scars, emotionally drained and with health issues.”

 Dated 20 June 2016, the document was copied to Kandjii-Murangi, Jooste, NSFAF chief human resources person Olavi Hamwele, and NSFAF company secretary Wise Immanuel.

Other issues raised against the NSFAF boss include a tendency of gossiping with junior staff members, to discredit the managers’ work.

They allege that this had “destroyed us as a team, a destruction coupled with mistrust, gossips and disrespect and it affects productivity,” they alleged.”