Saturday 17 April 2021
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Health ministry cracks the whip on NIP board

…as eye brows raise over acting CEO’s dismissal


By Staff Reporter

The ministry of health and social services has cracked the whip on the back of the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) board of directors saying it had received complaints that the recruitment of a substantive chief executive officer has been mired with irregularities.
The ministry’s executive director, Ben Nangombe has demanded from the NIP chairperson of board of directors, Diina Shuuluka for a “comprehensive report on the integrity of the process in lieu of its completion”.
Nangombe said the ministry would deal with the matter without partiality and added that the complaints would be dealt with promptly.
All this is contained in a letter from Nangombe to Shuuluka dated 22 August 2019.

NIP chops its acting CEO
In a rather unprecedent move days before the end of tenure of the NIP board, the acting chief executive officer of the NIP, Mekondjo Nghipandulwa has been slapped with an order to step down from her position as well as vacating the office from which she has been working.
The Patriot has had sight of the letter which instructed the beleaguered acting CEO of her relieve, a decision reached by the NIP board of directors on 28 August on a round robin basis.
Nghipandulwa was told to leave her office with effect from Wednesday.
The letter signed by the board chairperson, Shuuluka does not contain the reasons why Nghipandulwa was being made to step down.
The Patriot can also reliably inform that the letter did not contain any claims of incompetence on the part of the acting CEO.
“Reference is further made to the round robin resolution duly passed by Board of Directors on 28 August 2019 to relieve you of your acting chief executive officer’s duties with immediate effect. You are further requested to provide a proper hand-over to the incoming acting CEO as soon as possible,” reads the letter. No one has been identified to take over from Nghipandulwa. Nghipandulwa has been the boss at NIP on an acting basis since September 2018, the time Augustinus Katiti was fired on allegations of irregularities.
Sources at NIP have also disclosed that Nghipandulwa is not happy with the sudden turn of events while questions are running around NIP corridors as to why the board was rushing to appoint a new substantive CEO.
This function, according to some concerned officials at the entity, should be carried out by the incoming board as the old board is scheduled to leave the institution on 8 September which is the end of their term.
It is not clear presently whether the acting CEO will take legal action.
However, sources have also confided with The Patriot to the effect that she was deliberately dropped from the race to prohibit her from contesting for the substantive CEO position.
Allegations that have surfaced imply that the current board want to put in someone whom would be amenable to their influence, long after they are gone.
This was disclosed by some NIP workers who a few weeks ago demonstrated against the board and petitioned the public enterprises minister and health minister, Leon Jooste and Kalumbi Shangula respectively.
The removal of Nghipandulwa has so far left a leadership vacuum as the CEO’s position is currently unoccupied, The Patriot is informed.
This has left some questioning who is going to be handling critical issues that need a CEO full time between now and the time when the new substantive CEO will be put in place.
Interviews for a new CEO were conducted two weeks ago on a Saturday.
Out of many candidates who competed for the position, only two made it to the final round.
They are Evelyn Nghiwilepo Breuer who was interviewed face to face while Dr. Chris Hikuam from the Peninsula University of Technology was interviewed via Skype.
It is alleged that Breuer remain the favourite while the interference of the company’s secretary, Gibson Imbili, left many raising eye brows.
Further questions which remained unanswered despite numerous calls placed to the mobile phone of the chairperson include the reasons for a company secretary’s involvement in the appointment of an official to whom he will soon be reporting.
Imbili is a legal mind who has previously held the position of magistrate before he landed a position at NIP.
Alleged of being a “snitch”, Imbili has denied allegations of interference in the recruitment process saying that he was only acting as an observer.
He has previously spoken with The Patriot telephonically where he lambasted those accusing him of interference in the process as making malicious and false statements.
Workers who have registered their displeasure at the manner in which the board was running the company have asked why the board did not enlist the services of a competent recruitment agency.
Meanwhile, sources that spoke anonymously with The Patriot have disclosed that except for the acting CEO, no one was qualified to hold the position at the institution.

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