Rally for Democracy and Progress’ Mike Kavekotora has called for the immediate firing of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) management for the mess that has been caused at the institution, yesterday in parliament.
Kavekotora raised concerns over an additional budget of N$801.1 million for the higher education ministry although he said he had no qualms with the money trickling down to UNAM, NUST and Namibia Training Authority.
“We all know that NSFAF in its current form is a mess. Management is running this fund to the ground. NSFAF was detached from the ministry in 2014 through an amendment Act. The Act did not dissolve the old NSFAF and it continued to exist with the same staff members including the current CEO moving over to the independent entity," he said.
He said management had promised to reconstruct student accounts but to his surprise, they decided to impair over N$1.8 billion.
"An amount that could run into over N$2 billion if interest is factored in,” he said, “How do you allocate additional resources to an institution in such a bad shape? Is the custodian ministry happy with this situation? Is the minister aware of the state of affairs at NSFAF and the fight among board members,” he quizzed.
It was at this point that the higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi interjected, saying Kavekotora was ill-informed on matters at NSFAF and was therefore not well placed to make such attacks on the institution.
“No student has been disadvantaged at NSFAF. It is unfair to give irrelevant information and stating untruths,” Kandjii-Murangi shot back.
But Kavekotora insisted that ministers were sending wrong messages to institutions like NSFAF, NBC, New Era, Air Namibia and others.
“The only conclusion one can draw is that ministers condone mismanagement and promote corruption, or else there is no disconnect between the budgeting process, budget execution and ministers,” he said.
He has proposed for the custodian ministry to take over the management of NSFAF and place it under a separate management board not to disadvantage students, and fire the current board for mismanagement, negligence and corruption.
He advised Kandjii-Murangi to reengineer the entire fund.