The premises of the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) yesterday became a theatre of confrontation when its former executive director, Professor Joseph Diescho, showed up for work and demanded entrance to his office.
The face-off was so ugly that about eight police officers had to pool efforts to prevent Diescho from entering the office from which he was booted a week ago.
Diescho was fired last week for alleged insubordination, material breach of his employment contract, competition with his employer and non-compliance with resolutions of the Nipam governance council.
But the learned professor – in a surprise move – showed up for work yesterday, saying he was reporting for duty like every employed citizen of the country.
According to him there was no evidence that he was fired.
“There is no evidence that I was sacked, who told you that I was sacked? Bring the evidence,” he said to this reporter.
Nipam council chairperson George Simataa yesterday said as far as he was concerned Diescho had parted ways with Nipam.
“We are busy preparing his exit package, he must not worry he will have his package before Christmas,” Simataa, who is also secretary to Cabinet, said.
According to Simataa, Diescho’s lawyers confirmed the termination of the contract on December 8, at around 14h00.
“If he thinks that he is still employed by Nipam then he must bring us proof that he was on leave,” he said.
“Where was he on the 9th and 10th December?” Simataa wanted to know.
He said the employment relationship between Nipam and Diescho had been terminated with effect from December 8.
He said the termination was concluded by mutual consent and the parties separated cordially.
According to Simataa, Diescho was contracted as the executive director of Nipam from July 1, 2013 to June 30 2018.
Police at the scene yesterday said they were acting on instructions from their superiors.
“Just call the office of the public relations office and speak to them that side,” said one police officer.
New Era understands that junior police officers at the scene, after seeing Diescho arriving at work, called the police chief Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga for advice on how to handle the professor’s attempt to gain entry to his former office.
Ndeitunga confirmed that he called the Nipam governing council chairman George Simataa on whether Diescho should be granted entry, to which Simataa responded in the negative.
Ndeitunga confirmed dispatching senior officials to Nipam to talk Diescho out of his plans to enter the office.
Diescho understood the advice and left the premises, Ndeitunga said.
Ndeitunga confirmed that the Nipam premises have always been guarded by the police, and that the presence of officers at the premises was not specifically to deal with Diescho.
Police cordoned off Diescho’s parking space at Nipam yesterday to prevent him from parking his vehicle.
A letter dated December 7 to Diescho from Simataa stated that the Nipam governing council had lost confidence in Diescho.
In the same letter, Simataa asked Diescho to resign within 24 hours because of his alleged transgressions, and that he would be paid equal to his salary for the two remaining years of his contract – which is a massive N$3.6 million.
“Kindly take significant note that you are required to communicate your acceptance or rejection of this offer on or before 14h30, Tuesday 8 December 2015…” Simataa’s letter reads.
At a press conference last week, Simataa announced that Nipam and Diescho parted ways cordially, after an offer was made for him to resign.