Eba Kandovazu

THE Office of the Prime Minister is requesting the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the newly-established Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) to provide feedback on the alleged Irregularities pertaining to recruitment at the board, as reported by staff members.

Nangula Uaandja, the CEO, came under the spotlight recently when a letter written by aggrieved staff members was widely circulated on social media. In the letter addressed to Moses Pakote, the Executive Director in the Office of the President, the former employees of the Namibia Investment Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises Development, based at the Head Office claim that none of them were shortlisted for the advertised eight management positions at the NIPDB in April, even though they qualify for the positions.

The Office of the President has since referred the matter to Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the Prime Minister. According to the staff members, most of the shortlisted managers who were eventually offered the positions, did not posses the qualifications which were stipulated on the job descriptions, such as a Masters degree. The staff also allege that they are the ones currently doing the bulk of the work, with some training the new managers that joined the NIPDB.

The NIPDB has also been accused of appointing managers from accounting and auditing backgrounds, at the expense of other relevant fields such as economics, management and marketing.

“It also appears that there is a particular bias toward applicants from the private sector at the expense of those from the public sector,” the letter reads.

The staff members also claim that during initial negotiations at the time of transferring the staff members from the Ministry to NIPDB, Uaandja assured them that managerial positions would first be advertised internally but that did not happen.

“MIT staff were assured that they will not have to undergo a probationary period. Surprisingly, when some of us received our contracts there’s a six month probation period inserted. We are enduring systematic discrimination and nepotism from the CEO. On numerous occasions there have been negative comments made by NIPDB Exco towards us and a perception being propagated that all public servants are incompetent,” the letter states.

Meanwhile, Uaandja has confirmed to this publication that she has received the instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Yes I got the letter from the Prime Minister and we are busy responding to the matters raised,” she says.