Windhoek-The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) confessed it has not received a directive to investigate Hilya Nghiwete on allegations of mismanagement and corruption following her suspension as Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) Chief Executive Officer yesterday.
In an interview with New Era yesterday, ACC Chief of Investigation and Protection, Nelius Becker, said they have not seen any documentation related to Nghiwete’s alleged corrupt conduct.
The NSFAF board yesterday announced the suspension of Nghiwete, who is also the head of secretariat of NSFAF, with immediate effect pending the outcome of an investigation process.
NSFAF Chairperson, Jerome Mutumba, revealed that Nghiwete’s suspension is on account of serious allegations that have come to the attention of the board.
“The concerned allegations border on the centrality of maladministration and/or administrative corruption, amongst other misconducts, which upon preliminary review by the board presented prima facie reasons justifying that in the interest of the institution and the public at large, certain disciplinary actions be considered against her,” Mutumba announced.
Asked whether the ACC is planning to investigate these allegations of corruption against Nghiwete, Becker, said, “I don’t know. I will have to wait for the director-general [Paulus Noa]. I think the matter is in the newspapers today. I am not sure what his attitude is going to be about it. He is not here, he will probably be back tomorrow [today]. I will then find out if wants to investigate or not.”
Mutumba said having considered the seriousness of the allegations, the seniority of the accused person in the institution and in keeping with their fiduciary duties, the board members of NSFAF, at a special board meeting held on April 9, 2018, in accordance with the powers vested in them in terms of Section 10 of the NSFAF Act. No, 26 of 2000 as amended, unanimously agreed to suspend Nghiwete as NSFAF CEO.
Contacted for comment, Nghiwete did not want to talk to this reporter.
She hung up the phone as soon as this reporter introduced herself.
Mutumba said in accordance with the Labour Act, Act. No I of 2007, read with NSFAF Employee Relations Policy, the suspended CEO will be entitled to her full salary for the duration of her suspension.
“However, as of today she has ceased to be a repository of any power, duty or function previously conferred, prescribed and/or delegated to her as Chief Executive Officer or as the case may be, in terms of any law or NSFAF policies,” Mutumba stated.
He said the effect of this is essentially the suspended CEO shall refrain from acting or posturing to act in any way that creates an impression that she remains an agent of NSFAF.
Further, he added that any member of the public, natural or juristic, that enters into any transaction with the suspended CEO on the premise that she represents NSFAF, does so at his or her own peril.
The board has in the interim appointed Kennedy Kandume as acting CEO until further notice, while the investigation and/or disciplinary inquiry against the suspended CEO are being finalised.
Kandume has been NSFAF’s acting chief operating officer.
The Board assured all stakeholders and primary customers (students) that the development concerned herein will have no impact on its dedication and commitment to excellent service delivery.
“All our business processes remain unchanged or unaffected and under the leadership of the acting CEO, as a seasoned corporate executive, we are destined for excellence. In the main, the Board’s preoccupation is to build systems, processes and the institution towards effective service delivery,” asserted Mutumba.
The board members comprise of Mutumba (Chair), Dr. Christina Swart-Opperman (Vice Chairperson), Stephen U. Tjiuoro (Member), Dr. Isak Neema (Member), Adda Angula (Member), Dr. Natascha Cheikhyoussef (Member), Tulimeke Munyika (Additional Member) in the absence of the suspended Nghiwete who was the CEO is an Ex Officio.