Cabinet Scrutinises NBC


By Chrispin Inambao WINDHOEK Cabinet was engrossed in two marathon sessions over the past two days regarding the appointment of a new Director General for the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation whose chief resigned last year and is awaiting a court appearance on charges of fraud and theft. Since the resignation of Gerry Munyama as NBC Director General, Stanley Simataa, an educationalist has served as caretaker boss. He was initially among the frontrunners. Sources said the credentials of the person selected to take over the NBC and the manner in which the selection was handled were the main focus of the Cabinet discussions. New Era has it on authority that the majority of NBC board members were excluded and that outsiders were roped in to handle the selection of Bob Kandetu, who was the focus of the Cabinet deliberations where the selection criteria also came under heavy scrutiny. Kandetu is understood to be the preferred candidate for the NBC board. Recommendations to appoint him were the subject of Cabinet discussion over the past two days. In an unprecedented move, NBC board members were yesterday called in to give an explanation on why certain selection procedures were apparently circumvented. Sources at the state broadcaster said the name of one person who did not apply was squeezed in at the last minute, while a person initially short-listed was excluded. Other applicants who made the shortlist include Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, the General Manager for Radio Service and Penny Uukunde, the former Controller: News and Current Affairs. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official said some members of Cabinet were wary of the way the process was handled. When contacted about the lengthy Cabinet meetings, Prime Minister Nahas Angula referred New Era to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who suggested patience as the media would be informed about the outcome in due course. “Don’t rush, we will inform you as we normally do,” said the Information Minister.