12 February 2013

Namibia Training Authority Chief Suspended

Windhoek — The Namibian Training Authority (NTA) has suspended its CEO Maria Rukoro-Nangolo with immediate effect following a forensic audit that was commissioned last year September, the NTA board announced yesterday.

It is not yet clear on what grounds she was suspended, except that the NTA intends to take disciplinary action against Rukoro-Nangolo and other NTA employees who are implicated along with her.

"The disciplinary hearing is deemed confidential and the case will be deemed to be a matter sub judice and as such no further communication will be issued in this regard until the disciplinary process has been concluded, and only if it is deemed prudent," reads a statement from the NTA.

Meanwhile, sources at the Okakarara Vocational Training Centre (OVTC) claim Felix Mukasa, the NTA Transformation Specialist, who was appointed as the new OVTC acting centre manager since January 21 may have been recalled to NTA headquarters in Windhoek following firm and vigorous objection to the appointment by the instructors.

Two weeks ago the NTA confirmed to New Era that Mukasa, who is the former head of the Rundu Vocational Training Centre (RVTC), was appointed to the post, despite resistance and criticism from instructors as well as residents of Okakarara.

Mukasa reportedly left the RVTC in 2006 under a cloud following allegations of corruption, before he resurfaced at Okakarara as the acting manager.

NTA Manager: PR & Stakeholder Engagement, Mornay Louw, would not confirm nor deny that Mukasa was recalled to the Windhoek office. He also did not respond to questions sent to him at the time of going to print. The NTA maintains in a media statement that the decision to assign Mukasa to the OVTC was taken collectively by its executive committee and that a verdict in the fraud case pending against him has not yet been reached.

"As such, the matter remains sub-judice. As an equal opportunity employer, the NTA cannot deny Mr Mukasa an opportunity for further career growth, based on a pending court case," said the institution in response.

The NTA further says Mukasa remains in the employ of the NTA in his original capacity as transformation specialist and "will return to this position at the end of the period of secondment as acting centre manager for OVTC."

The institution reiterated its stance that none of the five candidates, including former head of the OVTC, Penson Mootu, who were interviewed for the position of OVTC centre manager, were found suitable during the interview.

Mootu was subsequently offered the position of deputy centre manager, a move that many at the school and the community deemed an unfair demotion. They questioned the decision and asked how Mootu, who has run the institution for over 30 years and built the institution from scratch, could be replaced by someone who has a case of alleged fraud hanging over his head.

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