Frustrated Academic Turns to NANTU

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By Kae Matundu- Tjiparuro

WINDHOEK

A University of Namibia (Unam) lecturer has asked the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) University branch to intervene in what he perceives as unfair appointment of a Head of Department (HoD) at the university’s Management Sciences Department.

The lecturer, Muree Tjiueza, who has been the sitting HoD for three years, has written to the Chairperson of the Nantu Unam branch, Jakes Kamerika, asking him to take up the matter with the Unam management to allow him to be interviewed for the position in view of the fact that he has shown interest in the position and has applied for it.

At the centre of the Tjiueza’s dissatisfaction is the Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, Professor Osmund Mwandemele.

Tjiueza reportedly only learned recently that he is no longer the sitting HoD unofficially from a colleague claiming to be the new HoD.

This is despite the fact that he applied for the position last year but has since not heard anything about his application. As he has neither been called for an interview nor informed that he was not short listed, New Era gathers Tjjiueze decided to enquire about his application directly from Mwandemele.

His enquiry also drew a blank. Hence Tjiueza’s decision to turn to Nantu’s Unam branch, suspecting favouritism, unfairness and lack of transparency in the appointment process.

Mwandemele is also at the centre of a move to bar two staff members in the Department of Economics and the Department of Educational Foundations Usutuaije Maamberua and Dr Tangeni Iijambo respectively from holding political office in their political party, Swanu.

This is as per University Council decision only taken at its meeting of November 27, 2007.

This came after both Maamberua and Dr Iijambo had assumed positions in Swanu. Thus they feel that although the decision applies to all Unam staff, they have been specifically targeted and the rest of the Unam staff have only been caught in the crossfire. The two have referred the matter to their lawyers Metcalfe Legal Practitioners that as yet have to communicate with Unam.

Kamerika has confirmed that he has received the submission made by the lecturer and said Nantu was in the process of consulting the relevant office to ascertain what transpired. By the time of going to print, comment was being awaited from the spokesperson of the University, Utaara Hoveka.

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