WINDHOEK – In its attempt to restore public confidence, the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has opened a case against its former employee, who fraudulently manipulated the loan awarding system and awarded himself a loan.
Olavi Hamwele the Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs officer at NSFAF said in recent weeks, NSFAF management and Board were inundated with allegations and innuendoes by a certain Phius Petrus.
Hamwele said Petrus mispresents himself on social media platform as a Business System Analyst and Developer at NSFAF.
However, Hamwele noted the Fund wishes to clarify that Petrus had served the Fund as a Temporary Award Officer until December 2017, when his employment contract ended. According to Hamwele, Petrus reapplied for the same position, but unfortunately did not make it due to fraudulent activities on his part.
He said while fully aware that he is no longer an employee of the Fund, Petrus logged onto the system (Loan Grant Application Management Information System), verified and approved his own loan application.
Therefore, he said for such an act, the Fund had opened a criminal case against Petrus with the Namibian Police.
“Surely, Mr. Petrus is quite vindictive due to non-renewal of his contract and he seems to have vowed to tarnish the image of the Fund by alleging that the non-renewal of his contract is due to tribalism practices at the Fund, that apparently targets Rukavango speaking Namibians. Further, he alleges that an amount of about N$800,000.00 was paid into wrong bank accounts or accounts of non-awardees in 2016, thus corruption insinuation,” Hamwele maintained.
Hamwele stated such allegations are not only orchestrated to feed a particular agenda of misleading the public, but cause a reputational damage to the institution.
Further, he said the recruitment process at the institution is above board, adding that process documentary, in this regard, is available for public scrutiny.
Equally, he said, NSFAF has a payment platform with Nam-Mic Payment Solutions through which all students’ payments are channelled. He explained once award process is finalised, NSFAF provides the award list to Nam-Mic. Nam-Mic in turn creates an account number and payment card for each awardee.
He said it is mandatory for an awardee to collect and sign for his or her payment card before the account is activated. Hamwele further emphasised that the disbursement of funds by Nam-Mic is based on the award list as issued and approved by NSFAF.
“We therefore find the allegation, that money was transferred into the accounts of persons not featuring on the award list, wanting. We wish to assure the nation that the award list is subject, to a thorough auditing process to ensure a complete match of the award list and the list of account holders as created by Nam-Mic,” he assured. In light of the above, he informed the public that such information and utterances, so being circulated and made by Petrus, is devoid of any truth and thus should be treated with contempt it deserves.
NSFAF is tasked with the responsibility of providing financial assistance to Namibian students both to access tertiary education at home and abroad, provided that they meet the funding requirements.