… Maintains strict requirements for potential candidates
By Kelvin Chiringa
The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has finally cut the contract of its Zimbabwean Chief Finance Officer (CFO) James Nyandoro whose cherry-picking to the position was heavily criticised by the parliamentary standing committee on public accounts.
Exclusively confirming the developments, NSFAF’s Chief Human Capital, Olavi Hamwele said, “the contract ended on 31 January 2019 and Mr Nyandoro left NSFAF’s employment accordingly.”
But this was not after discrepancies surrounding his coming to NSFAF were picked up by the committee on public accounts at a hearing conducted previously, which was chaired by the committee’s chairperson and law-maker, Mike Kavekotora.
The committee unearthed that Nyandoro was head-hunted in 2017 to the position while a parallel interview of potential candidates was ongoing, a process which Kavekotora’s team criticised as a wastage of state resources.
Highly qualified Namibian candidates failed to make it to the position which stringently required that they have 10 years’ experience.
Even when the standards where lowered to eight years, Nyandoro went on to take over, and it later came to light that his move to NSFAF was in breach of immigration laws considering that Home Affairs had granted him a one-year permit on the 18th of July 2017 under the condition that he would work for a private company, Sashi Investiments. His salary was put at N$1.495 million. Some parliamentary committee members have registered their anger saying this was a waste of money given the discrepancies around his employment.
In his correspondence with The Patriot, Olavi said that the stringent requirements to the position had not been lessened despite the committee’s protest.
“The key requirement of a Chartered Accountant of 10 years’ experience with five years at management level remains the same. The position is being advertised with a closing date (of) 24 May 2019. All interested candidates are welcome to apply. Please access the advertisement on our website,” he said in an emailed response to questions sent to him.
The position was also advertised last year with 7 December as the deadline.
Despite the irregularities around Nyandoro’s employment, Olavi said he had done a fantastic job as CFO.
“Apart from the normal CFO’s daily duties, he was instrumental in three projects, i.e. N$1.7 billion record reconstruction, development of sustainability model, and in-sourcing of recovery function,” he said.
What came out in the standing committee’s heated engagement with NSFAF was that Nyandoro’s work permit, instead of being processed by the entity, was handled by Sashi Investments (Pty) Ltd owned by diamond sight-holder Sadike Nepela.
This was the company he was working for at the time he was head-hunted.
Sashi Investments also further applied for an extension of this contract.
The implication of this revelation was that Nyandoro was in practice acting as a consultant of NSFAF rather than a full time employee as the entity suggested.
The committee also registered discontent with the fact that Namibian candidates were turned away despite some of them scoring as much or more than 60% and 70%. The committee demanded clarity on why Namibians could not take over the positon given such “high scores”.
“We’re not done yet with NSFAF”
Nyandoro may have left the entity, but the standing committee is not done yet with the institution especially in light of the unaccounted for monies.
However it seems the parliamentary standing committee’s chairperson, Kavekotora is in the dark with how far NSFAF has gone with its CFO. He further disclosed that there are some outstanding issues that they still want to get from NSFAF in June “so that we can make the recommendations in parliament.
I learnt that his contract is about to expire but whether that position has been advertised, that is the managerial responsibility. There were certain leads that we were following. What is clear is that the chief financial officer from the appointment to the work permit to the actual relationship with NSFAF was questionable,” he said.
Nyandoro’s LinkedIn account says that he has worked for Sashi Investments from 2017 up to present and makes no mention of his stint at NSFAF.
He has worked at the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) as chief financial officer from April 2011 until 2016 and was manager of finance between 2007 to March 2011. His work history also shows that he worked in Zimbabwe at Kadoma Paper Mills before he migrated to Namibia and worked at J&P Group Namibia.