8 January 2013

Namibia: NYC Position Mired in Controversy

THE Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Council (NYC), Mandela Kapere, says the process of finding a director for the youth institution will be transparent, amid fears of conflict of interest.

The NYC advertised the position of director last year.

However, some sources say certain board members have applied for the coveted position.

Sources in the youth council corridors say Sydney Ganeb, who heads the human resource committee of the board, is said to have applied for the job.

The requirements of the position were endorsed by the board of directors, which includes Ganeb, raising concerns over conflict of interest.

According to the National Youth Council Act of 2009, if a member of the board or a committee has any direct or indirect interest in any matter which is the subject of consideration at the meeting of the board or committee, and that matter may cause a conflict of interest to arise, the member must disclose the nature of the interest to the board or committee before or at the commencement of the meeting, and may not participate in the meeting.

Kapere said the process of filling the position is still at the technical stage, and he opted to "deliberately not know who the applicants are until I am informed".

The executive chairperson warned that if it emerges that Ganeb applied for the job then he will have to excuse himself from board proceedings dealing with recruitment.

He further rubbished claims that a certain board member might have shaped the requirements of the position to suit him or herself.

The director is the head of the administration appointed for a term of five years, and reports to the board.

The position came after the restructuring of the National Youth Council.

When approached for comment, Ganeb neither confirmed nor denied the reports but referred The Namibian to Kapere.

Kapere said he (Kapere) will be leading the recruitment process, adding that there will not be a favored candidate.

"We would like to get the best candidate, and on the record, it will be an open, transparent process," he said.

Kapere added that they have benchmarked most of their top positions to that of the public service, with similar job requirements.

He said the process of shortlisting will be done soon. However, at the moment, citizens should trust him to bring the suitable candidate.

The director is appointed by the NYC board, with the approval of Youth Minister Jerry Ekandjo.

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