Limkokwing drama takes a new twist

Eba Kandovazu

NEW information is being revealed that in fact, the lead masterminds in the establishment of a Malaysian university in Namibia is not Higher Education, Training and Innovation Minister, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, but her predecessor, David Namwandi, and the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), Hilya Nghiwete.

An anonymous document released on social media chronicles a number of engagements between Namwandi and the said university. It also alleges that Nghiwete sent students to study in Malaysia. The letter also accuses the former CEO of granting scholarships to some of her family members. It has also been alleged that the Malaysians initially offered scholarships to Namibians but NSFAF ended up paying.

The letter suggests that Nghiwete and Namwandi first traveled to Malaysia in 2011. Namwandi is accused of wanting to collaborate with Limkokwing to help improve IUM’s IT and technical subjects.

“NSFAF paid millions of dollars per student for something that was presented to be sponsored scholarships by the Malaysians.

Namwandi and Nghiwete visited Malaysia (Limkokwing University & others) again for the second time in November 2012. “This visit assured Limkokwing University & three other institutes of the implementation of the deal. Namwandi and Nghiwete visited Limkokwing University in Malaysia for the third time in July 2013,”the letter reads, adding that they traveled back again later that year, for the fourth time.

Namwandi, when contacted for comment did not deny that he visited Malaysia, saying that he also visited other universities across the world in his capacity as Education minister.

“Malaysia is also the country where I studied for my PHD. You can Google me. Now, going back to the issue at hand, we had a serious problem with students studying in Malaysia. They were studying at an institution called Binary College. It so happened that the students wrote to us and said that they seem to be studying at an unaccredited institution. I had to organise a team to go and see what was happening there before i went there. We moved Some students to other institutions that were recommended by our embassy, “he explains.

Namwandi says that suggestions that he came up with the idea of Limkokwing University is laughable, and that it was already there before he became a minister. “The allegation that the Limkokwing University in Namibia was my idea is gravely erroneous and devoid of any truth. Hence, it should be condemned with the contempt it deserves. What I can confirm, however, is that Limkokwing University was amongst several universities in Malaysia that were identified jointly by the High Commission of Namibia to Malaysia for Namibian students to pursue their studies,” Namwandi explains.

On the claims that he wanted a collaboration with the university to strengthen IUM’s IT and technical subjects, Namwandi explains that IUM, like any other university has the freedom to collaborate with or benchmark its programmes with any universityaccredited it its country of origin.

“A collaboration cannot be equated to setting up a university. At this juncture, I would like to implore all and sundry to avoid dragging other people’s names into issues that have nothing to do with them. I have nothing to do with the facilitation of sponsoring students at Limkokwing University in Namibia, nor did I facilitate its establishment in Namibia. Those who did that, must explain their intentions
squarely to the nation without encroaching on the rights of others,” he says.

Nghiwete, responding to allegations that her relatives benefited from NSFAF grants to study in Malaysia, says the claims were part of investigations conducted by NSFAF, that a forensic audit was conducted and the claims were unsubstantiated. “I cannot comment further,it id best you contact the board,” she concludes.

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