By: Ludorf Iyambo
“Some people just try to play with others’ lives.”
These were the words of a jubilant and celebratory Freddy Mwiya, the Namibia Sports Commission chief administrator, whose settlement with sports minister Agnes Tjongarero to remain in his role was, on Monday, made a court order.
“Some people just try to play with others’ lives. There’s no one above the law in this country, so I think we just have to respect the court order,” Mwiya, in matching victory outfits with his wife, told The Villager, following the court order.
The matter will start on 9 August in the High Court for case management.
Tjongarero had rejected the board’s recommendation to renew Mwiya’s contract, preferring to have the position advertised.
“What I do is to ensure that I need to provide guidance to the board; what the acts stipulate and what the policy stipulates. My job is to make sure that I provide the right information to the board members to do their jobs.”
Mwiya approached the courts with an application to stop the sports minister, Tjongarero, from advertising his position.
Mwiya argued that he was appointed as the Commission’s chief administrator on 1 April 2017. His appointment was for a period of 5 years, from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022.
According to Mwiya’s court submissions, the initial term was extended in 2018 when he and the Commission entered into a performance contract, after which the term was extended and set to expire on 31 May 2022.
At a special meeting on 26 March 2022 held in terms of section 9 (3) (a) of the Act, he said the Commission resolved to re-appoint him as the chief administrator effective 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2027.
However, the minister refused to act on the board’s recommendation and dictated to the Commission to advertise the chief administrator position so ‘all interested Namibians could enjoy a fair chance to apply.
Mwiya argues that section 23 (1) of the Act states that the minister must appoint a person as Chief Administrator of the Commission on the recommendation of the Commission.
Tjongarero fired the entire Sports commission board due to “deliberate” insubordination and ignoring the appointing authority. Joel Matheus, who was the board chairperson, was fired along with members Erica Beukes, Tomas Mbeeli, Alna Similo, Linda Chicalu, Marius Johannes, Karen Mubonenwa and Nicklause Nghumono.
Tjongarelo told The Villager that the board members in charge of sports administrators refused to adhere to what she was telling them.