The Minister of Education David Namwandi last week said the fate of Polytechnic of Namibia rector, Tjama Tjivikua, lies in the hands of the council led by Niilo Taapopi.
Namwandi who spoke from Malaysia said he would also wait for Taapopi to brief him on what decision the council would have taken regarding renewing or off-loading Tjivikua.
There were reports last week that Namwandi had stopped Taapopi from advertising the Polytechnic’s rector job citing wrong procedures regarding the handling of the whole issue.
He also said he does not deal with Polytechnic affairs and cannot speak for the council.
“I do not understand why I am being called on the issue because I am not involved with the Polytechnic in any way. They have a council and that council is led by Taapopi. Him of all the people should be the right person to tell you whether they want Tjivikua there or not. I am not at liberty to be involved in this issue directly or indirectly and I will be informed of the decisions just like anyone else,” Namwandi said.
However, Taapopi maintained that the decision on whether Tjivikua stays or goes is yet to be made and that the council has set 8 August as the day when it will meet to finalise the issue after last week’s meeting fell short of the quorum.
“The chances are that his (Tjivikua) contract will not be renewed. We should have met to push through that idea but the lack of quorum was the problem.
“I can safely tell you that the meeting should take place in the next few weeks and the decision should be taken before 8 August on whether he will stay or not. Like he (Tjivikua) has indicated that he wants to challenge our intended decision not to renew his contract, he is welcome to do that,” Taapopi said.
Although a quorum should be half of the 13-member council, Taapopi said only seven members attended but they needed to have council members who are in Polytechnic management to be present.
“I was made to understand that most of the management who were expected to attend the vital meeting had a hectic schedule but we will not have that again. We need the decision taken and people move forward on this issue,” Taapopi said.
He further said that the council would not head hunt for Tjivikua’s replacement before taking a decision by 8 August and if they agree to off-load the current rector then they will advertise extensively so that a suitable candidate is found.
“This is a vital institution and whoever thinks is a favourite of whomever and will be given a nod ahead of people through head hunting is surely not being honest.
“We are going to advertise widely in all the media because we want to have a better and capable candidate in the case that his (Tjivikua’s) contract is not renewed,” he said.
Taapopi said all the names being thrown around have not been considered by the council.
Tjivikua has six months left on his contract and he argues that the institution cannot go ahead and advertise his position.
He also argues that the council should have informed him of the decision not to renew his contract six month and has also given a slight glimpse that he is not ready to let go the reins at the organisation after engaging consultations with legal frame works.
Tjivikua last told our sister publication that he will be eager to serve out his term as the renewal of the contract will be the pleasure of the board.
“I still have time left in my contract which will serve out. Its renewal will be the pleasure of the board because that’s it’s prerogative,” Tjivikua told Prime Focus.