Senior NBC Manager Suspended

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By Chrispin Inambao WINDHOEK Namibian Broadcasting Corporation’s Director-General, Bob Vezera Kandetu, yesterday quietly suspended Theo Karipi, NBC’s General Manager for Administration and Human Resources. The move is a sequel to a contractual dispute. Although Kandetu’s mobile cell phone remained unanswered, Karipi confirmed yesterday’s suspension. “I would not want to discuss the merits of the case because investigations are ongoing. But what is stated in black and white is that the disciplinary inquiry is about a matter that occurred in 2003 related to termination of pensionable services with the NBC,” he said. “I have not been presented with the specific charges,” said Karipi who received the letter sanctioned by the NBC Board which was hand-delivered by the Director-General at 09h00. Although Karipi was tight-lipped with regard to the charges, an insider implied his suspension had its roots in an administrative anomaly in 2003 when he was awarded a princely sum in pension and a raft of other termination benefits during the restructuring. After smiling all the way to the bank, Karipi stands accused of re-appointing himself and his cronies on the same salary scale, with benefits. But sources argue this is irregular because one cannot enjoy similar benefits when he or she is re-employed by the NBC, particularly in the wake of one’s resignation. Prior to the restructuring in 2003, which resulted in hundreds of NBC workers joining the ever-growing army of jobless, Karipi served as Manager for Personnel and Industrial Relations, after which he was appointed Manager: Human Resources, but his present position as General Manager: Administration and Human Resources has been enmeshed in the controversy, which led to yesterday’s suspension. He also previously held the finance portfolio of overseeing pay and multi-million-dollar procurement, but this was eventually wrested from his control. The portfolio was given to another person.