Disciplinary war at research commission

01 April 2021 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER



WINDHOEK

In a game of tit-for-tat, the board of the National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST) and its suspended legal boss have dragged each other before disciplinary bodies in a bid to claim victory.

NCRST instituted disciplinary proceedings against Enid Keramen on charges of misconduct, gross negligence and bringing the name of the institution into disrepute.

She was the commission’s acting CEO when she was suspended in January 2021.

On the other hand, Keramen dragged her employer to the labour commissioner citing that the process leading to her suspension was illegal.

Keramen, according to NCRST sources, was supposed to appear before the disciplinary committee on 16 March. However, the meeting did not take place.

Namibian Sun understands Keramen’s legal team and the representatives of the commission then met for a conciliatory meeting at the labour commissioner’s office on 25 March.

Sources privy to that meeting said the parties did not reach consensus on the issues under discussion, hence the process will now go for arbitration.

According to the board, Keramen’s suspension was necessitated to enable the commissioners to conduct an unhindered investigation into allegations of gross insubordination and/or dishonesty.

Keramen, however, said the board decision is riddled with illegalities, maintaining her stance that its term expired and it, therefore, has no authority to make decisions without legal backing.

In addition to the leadership fights, NCRST is facing a series of tricky research and economic considerations as it seeks to persuade government to allocate more funds to ensure that the commission is able to execute its research programmes.

Keramen refused to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday, saying “please contact the board on that issue”.

Board chairperson Nortin Titus also did not respond when asked to provide an update on the matter.

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