Nust battle: Shimming-Chase quits

19 June 2019 | Education

Namibian Sun has reliably learnt that Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) council chairperson Esi Shimming-Chase has resigned.

Shimming-Chase and fellow council member Kondjeni Nkandi resigned during a meeting last week, impeccable sources have confirmed. According to a statement issued by the university on Monday afternoon Goms Menette is now the acting chairperson. The statement followed a WhatsApp message that circulated over the weekend, which said Shimming-Chase's resignation came after higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi insisted that the recruitment process of the new Nust vice-chancellor be halted. The minister is adamant that the new council will oversee the recruitment process. The current council's term ends in August. In recent weeks Shimming-Chase and Kandjii-Murangi have exchanged blows over who has the last say on matters relating to governance at the university. The biggest bone of contention has been the replacement of long-serving vice-chancellor Tjama Tjivikua, who stepped down in April. The search for his replacement started in earnest in September last year. Five candidates were shortlisted for the position - University of Namibia (Unam) academics Frednand Gideon and Erold Naomab (the only Namibians), Nigerian national Abraham Ogwu, Botswana national Otlogetswe Totolo and Turkish national Said Irandoust - but eventually none of them were appointed.





The position was re-advertised in March.





Last month Kandjii-Murangi told the council in a letter dated 13 May that the recruitment process must halted, pointing out that “it will not be in the best interest of the university if the current council recruits an incoming VC”.

The minister has also informed the council that she is already recruiting new council members.

This in particular seemed to have annoyed Shimming-Chase who told the minister in her strongly worded response that this violates the Nust Act and statutes, as well as the Public Enterprises Governance Act and good governance.

Shimming-Chase also accused the minister of interfering in the constitutional rights of council members and egregiously abusing her powers.

When contacted for comment, Kandjii-Murangi said she was in a “the middle of something” and would call back.

Shimming-Chase was not reachable.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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