Ministry sees no reason to respond to Nghitila accusations

08 July 2021 | Government

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The environment ministry says there is no need to respond to allegations that its executive director, Teofilus Nghitila, is connected to illegal fishing.

The Namibian reported this week that Nghitila and a chief legal adviser in the attorney-general's office, Chris Nghaamwa, head Omukokoli Fishing, which is accused of catching fish illegally.

“The minister and the ministry have no basis to intervene on allegations levelled against a staff member in their personal capacity,” said ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda.

He added that until such allegations are confirmed and the person is convicted, neither the ministry nor the minister has any say in the matter.

“We cannot act on allegations. Our systems and processes do not allow us to. You are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. If we are to talk about principles, we must be principled ourselves,” said Muyunda.

“Every public servant has an obligation to uphold strong governance,” he added.

Nghitila has been working for the environment ministry since 1999: first as chief development planner, before being appointed as deputy director (1 April 2001 – 31 March 2002), director of the Directorate of Environmental Affairs (1 April 2002), and as environmental commissioner and head of the Department of Environmental Affairs since 2012.

He has been responsible for the environmental impact assessment process and enforcement of environmental management plans, policy formulation on environmental matters and the coordination of Namibia’s participation in multilateral environmental conventions. He was appointed as executive director in 2019 after acting in the position the previous year.

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