Namwandi cleared of conflict of Interest
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has cleared the Minister of Education, Dr. David Namwandi of conflict of interest with the decision taken by the Accounting Officer and the then Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to pay the International University of Management’s (IUM) rent.
The ACC discovered that the then Permanent Secretary of the MOE, Vitalis Ankama, failed to comply with Treasury requirements before he finally authorized assistance to IUM, he did not approach the Treasury for authorization before the Ministry incurred expenditure on financial assistance to IUM.
Ankama in his capacity as the Accounting Officer said that the Ministry should provide subsidy to IUM after the Ministry received a request from IUM.
“One of the pressing factors the Ministry took into consideration at the time was that the private institution was the only one offering accredited courses as prescribed by NQA Council. Further, there were already many students who had received grants/loans from the Ministry. The institution was at the time not financially sound to honour financial obligations and it was being threatened with eviction from the premises. The institution was rendering education to the Namibian students and its operations could have come to a standstill should the Ministry decline the request,” noted the report conducted by the ACC in part.
The ACC’s report on the topic at hand noted in part that Ankama’s decision constitutes unauthorized expenditure making himself liable for possible disciplinary action if he was still employed in Public Service.
“ACC could however not find evidence to prove that he had acted with a criminal intent. His decision can also not be attributed to IUM. ACC finds no wrongdoing by IUM with regard to request for financial assistance,” noted the report in part.
ACC was urged to investigate the allegations, particularly the issue of payment for rent and especially to establish whether the Minister of Education who is the former Vice-Chancellor of IUM had exercised any influence over the decision by the MoE to pay renting fees for IUM.
“ACC further established that at the time the request for funding was made, the current Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi was not with Ministry of Education. He could not be in conflict of interest with the decision taken by the accounting officer of the Ministry of Education,” noted the report in part.
According to the ACC’s report, the Minister informed them in his statement under oath that when he was appointed as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education, he resigned from the IUM and also informed the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education to stop the assistance to IUM but the Ministry however kept on paying until December 2013.
“ACC conducted an investigation and found out that the Ministry of Education had in fact been paying rental fees for IUM since 2006 to 2013 as part of the Ministry’s financial assistance to this privately owned institution. According to information obtained by ACC, it was not unique that the Ministry provides subsidy to a private school as it had done the same before in respect with some other private schools,” noted the report in part.
Meanwhile, on the allegations of more students of IUM receiving funding from NSFAF, the statistics and explanation provided by the Chief Executive Officer of NSFAF disprove the allegations.
“There is no truth in the allegations that more students at IUM receive funding from NSFAF than those at Polytechnic as alleged,” added the report in part.