NIMT warned to pay salaries by Friday
The institution has been given until Friday, 20 January, to pay employees their December salaries in full, including benefits.
The company has been informed that failure to do so will result in employees not reporting for duty as of 23 January due to financial constraints and "the unions taking imminent further legal action on behalf of its members against NIMT."
The company has furthermore been warned that all employees must be paid their January salaries no later than 25 January.
"All our clients' rights remain reserved, including their members' right to claim for damages incurred as a result of NIMT's blatant breach of contract," the letter further stated.
According to NIMT executive director, Ralph Bussel, the institution has no money and its accounts are empty.
"The problem is not mismanagement of funds but a lack thereof. How can we mismanage funds that we don't have? We don't have the money to pay the people.
"The main problem is the funding formula, and that was the most important point discussed during the meeting we had with the unions," he said.
Bussel also stated that the institutions' financial situation is not new.
He admitted that NIMT employees haven't received a salary increase in over six years and said NIMT's priority has been to provide quality training.
"In my reign, the staff component dropped from 232 to just under 200 permanent staff members to ensure the financial dilemma was addressed. I didn't cause this; I inherited it," he said.
Bussel claims that the payments to creditors also dropped from N$31 million to just under N$10 million since his time in office.
The Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) addressed the failure of the ministry of higher education to attend a recent meeting with relevant stakeholders.
"Disappointingly, the ministry did not turn up to the meeting, and in this fashion, it demonstrated a lack of sensitivity to the plight of the employees, which speaks volumes to why it has failed to have governance issues sorted out," the union said.
The ministry did not provide comment when contacted by Namibian Sun.
Another meeting is scheduled to take place on Friday between NIMT, the ministry, the two bargaining units, and the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund.