A series of damning e-mails seen by The Patriot purports that health minister Dr. Bernard Haufiku is lacking workplace professionalism when interacting with ministerial staff.
The explosive evidence comes as Haufiku works to ensure that the fortunes of the ministry are turned around to provide quality public healthcare to Namibians amid mounting pressure over his personality and growing concerns over his alleged inability to obtain proper background information before addressing issues.
The e-mails show the extent of the frustration over Haufiku’s way of dealing with ministerial issues. The correspondence also gives insight into how Haufiku allegedly threatens officials.
The December 2017 emails also show that Haufiku is uncompromising when it comes to ensuring that medicine stock levels at public health facilities are sufficient.
At the centre of the clashes, is health minister Dr. Bernard Haufiku who stands accused of practicing workplace victimisation, misusing power and authority and bullying ministerial staff.
Last year he was tangled in a similar clash with Dr. Andreas Mwoombola, who has since been moved to the Office of the Prime Minister.
In one of the emails, Landine Karunga-Beukes, Director of Tertiary Healthcare and Clinical Support Services made the stark claims against Haufiku in an email dated 21 November 2017.
“Honorable Minister, with all due respect, allow me this opportunity to be frank with you and speak to you as one Namibian Citizen to the next. I would like to advise you to in future obtain proper background information before addressing any issues. More especially so since you have copied outsiders in on the email.
Your email is indicative of lack of knowledge and /or understanding of the processes in the Ministry which you are the leader of. It is saturated with threats, another trait not to be portrayed by someone in your capacity,” said Beukes.
Beukes also wrote: “In fact your email can be associated with workplace victimisation, misuse of power and authority, and downright bullying to say the least. Something that you explicitly spoke against when you addressed the Ministry workers on a public platform.”
With a subject line reading “Passports”, Beukes advised Haufiku to refrain from responding to emails, text and WhatsaApp messages “when you are irritated”.
“Your tone of writing is offensive to say the least and as previously alluded to not at all professional. This is adamant not only from this email but various other correspondences you commented on various other platforms,” she said.
She added: “I trust Honorable Minister that my email is received in good spirits and wishes to assure you that I have no ill intentions. I further believe this will in no way affect our working relationship as my intension, Honorable Minister, is not merely to criticise but rather to admonish with respect.”
Efforts to get a comment from the minister proved futile, questions sent to the ministry earlier this week went unanswered.
On several occasions Haufiku has asked his critics to come forward with proof that he has done something wrong.
The health sector appears to be on the verge of collapse because of limited financial resources, boardroom wars and personality clashes.
It has been struggling to employ additional staff members and medicine stock levels are running low, in some cases medicine has completely run out of stock. This has resulted in patients being forced to buy medicine themselves at pharmacies.
Patients have complained they have been inconvenienced and their health put at risk by the medicine shortage.
Health authorities deny the sector is about to go under and says it is facing normal challenges like all other sectors during the tough financial period that has crippled the country. These are being sorted and there’s no cause for alarm, they say.