By Megameno Shikwambi
Namibia Institute of Pathology’s (NIP) acting chief executive officer, Mekondjo Nghipandulwa is caught up in a storm in which she is being accused of victimizing her executive personal assistant whom she has allegedly accused of sabotage.
This information is contained in documents that have been leaked to The Patriot which show correspondence between the PA, identified as Advent Shitaa and Napwu’s head of operations, Gideon Thomas.
Shitaa was the PA to now suspended NIP boss, Augustinus Katiti. Strings of messages between the two show that Nghipandulwa has been allegedly subjecting Shitaa to an “illegal transfer”, victimisation as well as blocking these goings on from reaching the ears of the NIP board.
Nghipandulwa has in the meantime insisted that she enjoys good relations with her PA and had no knowledge of the documents containing the accusations.
“I am not aware of that. I have no knowledge of the victimization. According to me I have good relations with my PA,” she said.
Shitaa’s phone was not reachable when The Patriot contacted her for comment.
In the emails, she reveals to Gideon that Nghipandulwa transferred her without notice.
Revelations are also that Nghipandulwa gave her an ultimatum that if she did not leave her office, “NIP would be forced to apply extreme measures against me.
Working with the Acting CEO (Nghipandulwa) has been somewhat obscure in the sense that there is a lack of trust between the two of us. This lack of trust was established during the time she strongly accused me of ‘trying to make her look stupid with the board of directors’ and ‘coming to work to sabotage her’ and then discharging me by force from my designated office without any notice or prior sensitisation or whatsoever!” the emails read.
Documents show that the PA, who is a holder of a master’s degree, was made to report to the head of the driver’s department, much to her frustration.
Revelations from the leaked documents are also such that the NIP acting Human Capital Officer, Jason Kafidi did nothing about these complaints.
“They did not care about my well-being and work performance. It is very unpleasant and awkward to greet the ACEO and have a physical conversation with her as I fear that when she gives me an assignment verbally, she might deny that she never communicated to me nor gave me any assignments. Upon my return to the office, I was not given any keys to access the office of the CEO and that of the secretary to the CEO, of which previously, I had both the keys. I am inclined to think that the ACEO does not want me to have access to certain documents as she does not trust me for reasons only known by her.
Her behavior and attitude is not genuine because it feels as though she forces herself to greet me back. If I do not greet her first, she will not greet me and we would be passing against each other in the corridor without talking to each other. Sometimes when I greet her, she does not even look at me. She is unprofessional to say the very least,” Shitaa reveals.
A source at NIP who declined to be named confirmed these happenings with The Patriot and disclosed that both the acting CEO and her PA do not greet each other in corridors.
The source, added that the demotion of Shitaa brought confusion and that the NIP Administrative Officer registered his displeasure with the move by the acting CEO.
The Patriot has also gleaned minutes taken during a meeting said to have been chaired by Kafidi meant to fix the broken relationship between Shitaa and Nghipandulwa.
The meeting went on in the absence of Nghipandulwa, according to the minutes.
According to provision 5.2.3 of the NIP staff handbook which deals with transfers, “transfer of employees shall be done in the interest of the Company. However, any other transfer shall be done at the discretion of the CEO.”
According to the minutes dated, August the 21st 2018, Shitaa believed her transfer was illegal “because she was not consulted, secondly she did not agree to the transfer and lastly she has a legally binding document called a Job Description which clearly states who she reports to and her duties.”
The minutes also show that Nghipandulwa regarded Shitaa as “not good enough”.
In the correspondence between Shitaa and Gideon, the former says that she was at NIP simply because she needed the money and demanded that “justice be served”.
The Patriot is further informed that NIP offered to create a new and better paying job for the PA on condition that she withdrew her grievances from Napwu. According to the source, Shitaa refused and advised NIP to rather advertise the position as she was “not willing to make illegal deals with NIP”.
Further meetings between NIP and Napwu failed to resolve the impasse between the PA and the acting CEO, the source said, and that she declined another offer to work under the procurement unit.