Nust staff expose 'rot'

Staff members of the Namibia University of Science and Technology aired their concerns regarding the institution's alleged mismanagement in a letter to the president.

26 February 2020 | Education

A group of concerned Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) staff members have appealed to President Hage Geingob as the “last resort” to rescue the university from certain “decay” and “death” as soon as possible.

According to a letter penned by the staff members, the university's “rot” started in April 2019 as a result of bad leadership.

“The university has been on a lamentable path of destruction. Its demise is in full swing as a consequence of the work of a horrific executive committee and an incompetent council.

“The inexperienced, visionless management team is completing this egregious task in a haste covertly and overtly, with council's concurrence and or inaction. The value of the university, and so its prestige, is fast diminishing and the damage to the present and future generations is becoming more blatant and permanent on a daily basis,” the letter said.

Nust council chair Florette Nakusera referred queries to university spokesperson Jordaania Andima.

“Nust has not received any communication regarding this notice circulating on social media recently, and therefore, the university has no knowledge if this is a genuine letter on behalf of staff or if it is the work of an individual.

“If and when Nust receives this letter formally, it will address the contents of the letter and communicate in due course,” Andima said.

Meanwhile, the letter said Nust has been operating without a strategic plan and is being run on an ad hoc basis by inexperienced, unqualified individuals.

Staff also say the management discriminates against qualified Namibians, and has reserved or created certain positions for whites and non-Namibians.

The letter also claims victimisation of staff and accuses top management of micromanaging its staff to a point of becoming “undignified”, as well as the mismanaging of financial resources.

One such incident is the alleged the failure of the university to account for N$900 000 collected during a charity golf day in aid of poor students.

“Additionally, the unlawful expenditures by the registrar incurred at the hotel school in May and June 2019 for personal reasons. [This] means that the acting vice-chancellor or very senior staff members in the finance department under his orders authorised the expenditures through an overwrite of financial controls. Since then, there has been a serious clampdown on the truth. When staff question such inordinate expenses and practices, they are being victimised.

“Yet council has blundered by compromising their own investigation process into the evidence and allegations. Why were the suspects or accused persons such as the acting vice-chancellor and registrar part of the investigating committee?” the staff asked.

[email protected]

JEMIMA BEUKES

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