July 7, 2015, 8:25am
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), widely criticised for directing the Polytechnic of Namibia to investigate itself on claims of favouritism and abuse of resources, says it did so because the allegations are of an administrative nature.
Questions have been asked as to why the ACC opted to task the Polytechnic Council to probe the manner in which the institution manages its finances and promotions, instead of taking charge of the investigation itself.
The request was prompted by a letter to the ACC last month by an anonymous whistle-blower who raised a handful of alleged administrative irregularities.
ACC Director General Paulus Noa yesterday told New Era the council’s findings would play a big role in terms of ACC commissioning its own investigations.
“Looking at all the allegations in the letter written by the whistle-blower, one can see that this is an administrative matter. We therefore requested the council to do its investigations because it was primarily established to ensure the institution is managed orderly,” asserted Noa.
“We cannot bypass the council, it will create an impression that we have no confidence in it, we need to be professional,” the former magistrate said.
“We are a criminal investigating agency, we do not necessarily get involved in all aspects of administration at institutions when there are those tasked to deal with it,” he elaborated.
Noa urged prospective whistle-blowers to follow the right channels by laying their complaints with the relevant authorities.
In the letter titled “Administrative Corruption in the form of Favouritism at the Polytechnic of Namibia,” the whistle-blower alleges the rector Professor Tjama Tjivikua overspent by an estimated N$1.5 million in a year.
Several allegations were also directed at the Polytech’s institutional planner Neveara Olivier.
“Management paid N$350 000 for a certain Neveara Olivier’s studies at the alleged ill-reputed Walden University in the USA,” reads the letter.
It is also alleged Olivier was promoted to the rank of institutional planner without the position being advertised to enable other interested parties to apply.
“Such a promotion costs a perception of favouritism as other staff were allegedly not given an opportunity to apply,” says Noa in the letter.
Noa requested the council to table the allegations and demand an explanation from the management because “such allegations have the potential of putting the institution in disrepute”.
New Era understands the Polytechnic senate had a heated meeting last Friday and that a number of council members, especially those in Polytechnic’s management, walked out of the meeting before discussing the ACC letter.
Council chairperson Evelyn Breuer did not comment on the ACC letter when contacted on Sunday, but sources say the council is aware of it because it was distributed to all council members at Friday’s meeting.