Diescho taking Nipam to court

21 Mar 2016 11:40am
By Sawi Lutibezi
RUNDU, 21 MAR (NAMPA) - Prominent Professor and former Nipam executive director, Joseph Diescho is taking the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) to court for unfair dismissal.
This may even go as far as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Diescho told Nampa in an interview here on Sunday.
As a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), the ILO gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments to ensure the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes.
Diescho was dismissed by Nipam in December 2015 for alleged insubordination, material breach of the employment contract, competition with the employer and non-compliance with resolutions of the Nipam Governance Council.
It is alleged Diescho provided consultancy services and held workshops with several parastatals such as NamPort, Telecom Namibia, and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank in his private capacity and providing services that Nipam can offer.
“The 10-member Nipam Governance Council did not follow procedure at all, not one step of the law. Article 18 of the Namibian Constitution is very clear about administrative justice and the Labour Act of 2007 is also clear about how to manage labour relations and so does the Public Service Act,” he said.
All these forms of legislation, Diescho explained, are there to make sure that neither the employer nor the employee is treated unfairly.
“These are just some of the reasons why this case must go to court and in fact reach the ILO. Procedures such as warning by word and later in writing were never applied.”
Diescho said after a warning in writing the employer should take steps to remedy the situation, meaning: the struggling employee should be helped to improve.
This, he said, could require training, counselling or any other measure the board can identify as intervention for help towards resolving the situation.
“And this whole process must be documented. Only when there is no improvement can they consider termination.”
There is also a hearing that must take place, Diescho said, adding the charged person has the opportunity to defend themselves before an independent body, after which recommendations are made to the council to apply their minds on the issue.
None of this was done, he said.
“They just decided overnight this person is not wanted anymore. That is why you can see at this point that all fingers are pointing to President Hage Geingob as the one who gave the instruction, because these procedures were not followed.
“How else will the council come to the conclusion to ask me to leave? It can only be an instruction from above to literally break the law. That is why this case is going to court and all the way.”
Diescho refrained from disclosing the law firm that will defend his case in court, saying it is for safety purposes, because his car was broken into on 20 January this year while he was leaving his attorney’s offices.
The culprits, he said, stole all the documents he is set to use in court against the Nipam Board.
Approached for comment on whether Geingob was involved in Diescho's dismissal at Nipam, Presidential Press Secretary Albertus Aochamub said he could not comment to statements he did not see, but, however, said the President cannot be involved in issues of dismissal.
He then asked the Nampa correspondent to email him the questions and did not answer calls thereafter.
Diescho noted that Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Geingob were instrumental in recruiting him at Nipam as executive director.
According to him, he went through the procedures of submitting an application, interview, shortlisting and appointment, adding that Cabinet endorsed his recruitment but not his dismissal.
Diescho is currently a consultant offering training and leadership workshops to private institutions. He is also touring the northern regions of Namibia, holding public lectures on the involvement of citizens in the governance and democracy of a country.