GIPF replaces acting HR boss

20 July 2021 | Local News

MATHIAS HAUFIKU



WINDHOEK

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has removed its long-serving acting executive for human resources (HR) Getrude Xawes, a move seen as a ploy to allay talks that the fund has accorded her special treatment by allowing her to act indefinitely.

Namibian Sun reported last month that the fund had operated without a substantive HR executive for almost three years and that it was accused of stalling the recruitment process to favour Xawes, who was one of the applicants for the job.

Xawes has since been removed from the acting position and reverted to her substantive position of HR manager. She was replaced by the fund’s head of strategy, Desmond Nikanor.

The fund, at the time, was also accused of bypassing its in-house rotational policy where officials in an acting capacity are only given a six-month period to act. That policy has not been applied since Xawes started acting as HR head in 2019.

Responding to questions from Namibian Sun last week, GIPF CEO David Nuyoma said: “This is entirely an internal HR matter to the fund.

“It is within policy to have the current incumbent acting in the vacant position. As indicated, this position will be advertised in due course.”

The history

When GIPF advertised the executive position in 2019, one of its primary requirements was that candidates must possess a master’s degree in HR, industrial psychology, training and development, or organisational development.

There have been talk that the fund wants to promote Xawes to general manager of its HR department.

Xawes was one of the applicants who ended up being shortlisted, despite not having the required qualifications, when the application process closed on 10 April 2019.

Critics blasted the process, saying Xawes was never supposed to make it past the first stage, let alone make the shortlist, because she did not meet the requirements.

The fund has allegedly been unable to appoint her because of the red raised regarding her qualifications.

It has since been alleged that the delay in filling the position was to allow Xawes to complete her studies, which she allegedly undertook in order to meet the requirements.

Xawes at the time said she could not comment on the matter because she was “just one of the applicants like anyone else”.

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