NIP under fire for wasted N$7m

16 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste is deeply concerned about the more than N$7 million spent on disciplinary procedures and acting allowances at the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) over the past year.

Jooste yesterday said the “legal fee [N$5.6 million] is of particular concern to me and in my opinion beyond acceptable norms.”

These legal costs relate to internal disciplinary actions against six employees instituted over the past year. One of the cases was the disciplinary action against former NIP CEO Augustinus Katiti, who was fired last year. Documents released this week showed that each disciplinary case was given to a different law firm, resulting in six law firms handling six individual cases.

The minister stressed yesterday that in cases where suspensions were condoned, he made it “clear to boards that the investigations and disciplinary processes must be concluded as soon as possible.”

“I also want to make it clear that individual board members may be held personally liable for any undue financial consequences, to ensure that boards conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis based on solid evidence to guide their decision-making,” he warned.





NIP documents shared on public forums recently show the company spent just over N$1.5 million on acting allowances for seven senior NIP managers between June 2018 and September 2019.

NIP chief internal auditor Mecky Nghipandulwa, who served as acting CEO from 2018 until September this year, earned N$699 704 according to the documents.

The seven NIP managers who acted in higher positions reportedly received acting allowances in addition to their usual pay, although Namibian Sun was unable to obtain confirmation of these expenses from NIP by the time of going to print.

Speaking about the extra spending necessitated by disciplinary procedures, Jooste said he was “definitely not happy about this, as it has resulted in diverting money meant for productive activities towards acting allowances and legal fees.”

The minister has frequently criticised the “suspension culture” at public enterprises, including the lengthy time officials stay home with full pay and benefits.

Yesterday, he said: “I want to see a situation where these suspensions are a thing of the past.”

He added that where suspensions are approved by the ministry, it is critical they are concluded quickly.

“I always make it very clear that the disciplinary process should be concluded as a matter of urgency, and in cases where it leads to a dismissal, the recruitment process should be equally expedited to mitigate the negative consequences.”

On the way forward, Jooste said the NIP board has to “weigh the consequences and cost of prolonged legal processes versus alternative solutions to restore the corporate governance integrity as soon as is possible.”

He said the problems at NIP must be handled by the board and the acting executives, who must at all times “act in the best interest of the entity to find the most acceptable solution.”

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

'Geingob desperate to win in November'

1 day - 13 July 2020 | Government

Kenya KamboweRUNDU President Hage Geingob's virtual meeting with the country's regional governors this past Friday is a sign of desperation.This according to political commentator Ndumba...

NUNW lashes Katjavivi over Nujoma insults

4 days ago - 10 July 2020 | Government

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) secretary-general Job Muniaro has lashed out at National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi for failing to maintain order,...

Iithete says ministerial contract ended gracefully

1 week ago - 07 July 2020 | Government

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKFormer finance deputy minister Natangwe Iithete has reacted publicly for the first time to losing his job, saying his contract as deputy minister had...

I'm not Kalimbo's grandfather – Utoni

1 week ago - 06 July 2020 | Government

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKLabour minister Utoni Nujoma has dismissed claims that he shouted expletives at Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) MP Kalimbo Iipumbu in the National Assembly...

'MPs must explain their riches'

1 week ago - 01 July 2020 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKOpposition politicians are in agreement that public office-bearers must not only declare their assets, but should also be ready to explain their riches.This follows...

Focus abortion debate on rights, not religion - Boois

1 week ago - 01 July 2020 | Government

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKThe woman who revived Namibia's abortion debate this month has written an open letter to parliament asking that the debate on abortion law reform,...

AG blocked by defence

1 week ago - 01 July 2020 | Government

NAMPAWINDHOEK Auditor-general Junias Kandjeke was prevented from inspecting N$506.4 million of the defence ministry's expenditure for the 2018/19 financial year.This is despite the law stipulating...

Oshakati CEO recruitment under way

2 weeks ago - 30 June 2020 | Government

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATIThe Oshakati town council has started the process to fill the chief executive officer position left vacant by Werner Iita, who resigned when he...

Changing the face of data

2 weeks ago - 26 June 2020 | Government

Mariselle Stofberg- Herold Kapurua Kazavanga has made a valuable contribution towards reducing the data reserves of the GIPF, from 5% to 2%.He says he achieved...

Geingob considers deputies for 'overworked' ministers

2 weeks ago - 26 June 2020 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK President Hage Geingob is considering appointing a new batch of deputy ministers, but this will depend on the workload...

Latest News

'Timing of NEEEB most ­unfavourable'

12 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré DuddyAmid rife speculation that the Namibian Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB) might soon be tabled in parliament, the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF)...

PDM six face unceremonious parliament...

12 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKIn a landmark ruling yesterday, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) members Charmaine Tjirare and Hidipo Hamata won their High Court case in which they challenged...

2 000 companies, 16 000...

12 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAbout 2 000 employers and 16 000 workers have so far applied to the Social Security Commission (SSC) for assistance, as Covid-19 salary cuts...

Rapist caught in the act...

12 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKWhile several rapes have again been reported this weekend, an alleged rapist was caught on Friday by the boyfriend and brother of a 30-year-old...

Living the spirit of service...

12 hours ago | People

JUSTICIA SHIPENA Xenophone van Wyk recently won N$30 000 for his efforts in Tsumeb’s informal settlement of Kuvukiland through the Bank Windhoek #JourneyingTogether social...

//Karas youth can help food...

12 hours ago | Business

The youth in the //Karas region should organise themselves and start agricultural projects to ensure future food security, Swapo's regional coordinator, Matheus Mumbala, has said.Mumbala,...

More freezing weather ahead

12 hours ago | Weather

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKWith more cold fronts moving into the country, Namibians can brace themselves for some more freezing nights.The country has just experienced one of its...

PDM doesn't inspire confidence either

12 hours ago | Opinion

With much controversy engulfing Swapo, the nation tends to forget the misgivings of other political players such as PDM which blatantly violated provisions of Section...

No cap

12 hours ago | Columns

Justicia Shipena Social media is great for many things, like sharing photos of your vacation, slick eyeliner or outfit. Activism, however, is not one...

Load More