“We are instructed to inform you that our client views your threats in a very serious light, and as such, we are instructed to consider taking legal action against you, in particular for malicious prosecution against our client. Please be advised that our client shall not abandon the current legal proceedings before the High Court despite his resignation.”
These are the closing comments from the letter dated 28 February 2019 from Angula CO. Incorporated Attorneys-Notaries-Conveyancers to the Secretary to Cabinet, Mr George Simataa concerning the resignation and on behalf of Dr Andreas Mwoombola.
Mwoombola met with Simataa to discuss his resignation on the 5th February stating various reasons, among them being ‘underutilised’. His last day of work was to be the 28th February 2019.
His portfolio at the time was that of Executive Director in the Office of the Prime Minister. At the time of his resignation there was a pending investigation of fraud pending against him.
During the meeting between Mwoombola and Simataa, the former was under the impression that Simataa was understanding as he offered ‘brotherly’ advice to Mwoombola who nonetheless handed over his resignation letter which was not accepted immediately, as the Prime Minister needed to be consulted.
When, by the 11th of February no response had as yet been received from the Prime Minister, Mwoombola hand delivered his resignation to Neville Andre, Simataa’s personal assistant.
It was a letter that was received on the 20th of February that caused Mwoombola to seek legal advice and which prompted the strongly worded response from the attorneys.
The letter of the 20th which was addressed to Mwoombola acknowledges receipt of the resignation letter and further confirms what Mwoombola assumed to be ‘brotherly advice’ received on the 5th February.
The damning letter concludes in paragraph 5, “Furthermore I want to remind you that your disciplinary case has not yet been completed, therefore since you are leaving the public service with a pending case, we will be forwarding your matter to the Prosecutor General and the Namibian Police Force to consider instituting a criminal case against you.”
This despite the fact that on a previous occasion when Mwoombola was seeking alternative employment, the ACC had cleared him of guilt in the matter and declared him fit to apply for another position.
The disciplinary case in question has been pending since 2017, with hearings held on the 12th and 26th of September 2017, 9th of October 2017, and 13th to 15th November 2017 before a committee which constituted of 5 members.
This matter hails from when Mwoombola was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health and was accused of negligence and failure to follow procedure.
The Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia led an investigation after which Mwoombola was moved to the Prime Minister’s office and Simataa publicly assured the nation that the move had nothing to do with the investigations into his conduct at the health ministry.
Following the letter of the 20th of February threatening arrest, Mwoombola felt it pertinent to take legal advice.
In a scathing letter to Simaata, Angula Co. Incorporated makes their client’s stance clear and tears through the letter signed by the Secretary of Cabinet.
“Our client is perplexed and shocked by your statement that the matter before a disciplinary hearing would be referred to the Prosecutor General and the Namibian Police force to consider instituting a criminal case.
Our client is unaware of any pending criminal cases or charges against him.
In that respect, the only conclusion which can be made is that you are having a personal vendetta against our client and would stop at nothing to intimidate him.
The above mentioned statements were made to intimidate our client and to continue to maliciously and vexaciously prosecute him with no due regard to confirmed evidence.
The allegations of referral to Prosecution and Namibian Police are, to say the least, illogical, unreasonable and unwarranted.
We are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you provide our client with information upon which you relied to threaten our client with the Namibian Police and Prosecutor General.
For the avoidance of doubt, we place on record that it was your unlawful decision to appoint a disciplinary committee in our client case, in complete flagrant disregard of fair process, that culminated in the delay of this matter,” the letter states.
Dr Mwoombola commenced duty at his new position in Botswana on the 1st of March in the position of Senior Officer – Learning, Development and Performance management at the SADC office in Gaborone, Botswana.