Namibia: Youth Minister, Council Clash

Youth minister Agnes Tjongarero and the board of the National Youth Council (NYC) have reportedly clashed over the appointment of the council's director of finance.

According to a source, the board had a meeting with Tjongarero last month and requested her to allow them to appoint a finance director.

Tjongarero allegedly advised them not to appoint anyone due to insufficient funds.

The position became vacant after NYC programme manager Sircca Nghitila's contract expired at the end of last month.

According to the source, the board requested the minister to second a candidate from the ministry to act in the position for three months.

The board later informed the minister it had appointed Elatfan Hamukoto as acting finance director, rejecting Pankratuis Kavura, who had been seconded by the minister.

"The board in the meantime appointed Hamukoto as acting director while the minister had seconded Pankratuis Kavura as acting director," the source says.

"Both appointments were introduced to staff as acting directors on 6 July 2020 during a separate staff meeting. Acting executive chairperson of NYC Elzarien Katiti, Nghitila and Hamukoto did not attend the meeting where Kavura was introduced," the source says. Tjongarero confirmed she met with the board and told them the position could not be filled due to a lack of funds.

"They came to request the ministry to second an official from the ministry. We then seconded someone from the ministry to act for three months.

"They went on to nominate someone and asked the ministry to second the person. They are saying that by law they are required to appoint a person and submit to the minister to second. I don't know what this is about. When they came to me first, did they not know what the act says?" she asked.

Tjongarero said she would convene a meeting with her deputy, Emma Kantema-Gaomas, and the director of sport.

"We are going to do what we have been advised to do by the Ministry of Finance," she said.

Kavura said he knew the NYC board had appointed Hamukoto, but declined to comment on the matter, saying he would do so today.

Meanwhile, Katiti said the NYC is in the process of resolving the issue.

"I don't want to create further commotion between the ministry and the NYC," he said.

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