Ex-Bipa boss claims unfair dismissal

26 April 2019 | Labour

The former CEO of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa), Tileinge Andima, claims that the non-renewal of his five-year contract in March was unfair.

The move was apparently related to his role in buying and renovating a former bar in Wanaheda for N$18 million. The building was meant to serve as Bipa's headquarters in the Khomas Region. According to the Bipa board of directors, Andima bought the property without obtaining board approval.

Andima's lawyers have sent a letter to Bipa board chairperson Riundja Kaakunga and copied it to prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, industrialisation minister Tjekero Tweya, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste and presidential affairs minister Martin Andjamba. “Our client was not subjected to any disciplinary proceedings for misconduct, nor was he found not to be eligible for reappointment,” they wrote.

“To make matters worse, our client's performance was appraised subsequent to the expiration of his contract and his performance was found to be outstanding and he received a performance bonus for his performance. Further, our client was not provided with any reasons whatsoever as to why he was not reappointed. It is evident from the performance appraisal results that our client is eligible for re-appointment,” the letter stated.

“Even the removal (suspension) of Mr Andima as from 5 March 2018 until 1 February 2019 when his fixed-term employment contract expired was contrary to the provisions of Section 16(2)(d) of the Bipa Act,” it added. According to the lawyers, Andima had been invited to a board meeting on 21 October 2017 to explain the purchase of the building in Wanaheda.

They said Andima explained the transactions and submitted the relevant documents to the board.

“At the end of the special meeting, the board pronounced itself that they had found our client guilty and they were going to issue him with a final written warning,” the lawyers wrote.

“Thereafter, the board of directors rescinded their own decision to issue our client with a final written warning and subsequently suspended him pending investigations.”

The suspension remained in force until the end of Andima's contract.

Approached for comment, Bipa board chairperson Riundja Kaakunga said the agency's lawyers were handling the matter. According to him, the matter is under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission, which meant he could not comment on it.


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