Namibia: Probe Finds Unfair Hiring At Cpbn... Ombudsman Says Recent Appointments Were 'Irregular'

9 December 2020

The office of the Ombudsman has found that the latest recruitments and appointments at Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) were irregular, unfair and prejudicial to other candidates.

In April and May this year, the CPBN board appointed 14 new staff members.

Upon this, a post started circulating on social media, pointing out the new appointments are all from the same ethnic group. Of the 14 recruits, only one male official made the cut.

Ombudsman John Walters, in response to a complaint filed by the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), last week said he could not make a definite finding in regard to the allegation that the majority or all of the appointees are from one ethic group.

He said this is because the board could not provide any explanation for the happening - neither could he draw any reasonable inference from available information.

However, he said his office has found that six of the 14 recruits did not meet either advertised requirement or either have failed the interview processes.

According to Walters report, Aune Ndeutapo, who was appointed as the manager for finance administration, did not meet the advertised requirement of ten years' experience and only had eight years and eleven months experience hence should not have been shortlisted, interviewed and appointed.

Similarly, Zambwe Manyando, who was appointed to the position of senior procurement officer did not meet the advertised requirement. The report says Manyando has a degree in Human Resource Management as opposed to the advertised requirement of a bachelor degree in supply chain or related.

"Manyando did not have the required five years' experience in supervisory role. She did not obtain the required 65% pass rate during the interview; she obtained a rate of 64.58%. She should not have been shortlisted, interviewed and appointed," the report reads.

Likewise, the report says Twenty-One March Kangonga, who was appointed to the position of the procurement officer, did not meet the advertised requirement of a national diploma in procurement or supply chain, three years' experience in the procurement or public procurement administration, of which two years must be in the execution of procurement administration tasks.

"She has only five months experience at CPBN as an intern, six months experience at City of Windhoek as an intern and one year and four-months experience as a lecturer at a college (the CPBNs own long list indicates that she does not meet the advertised requirements," the report said, adding that she should not have been shortlisted, interviewed or appointed. Also, the report says, Kristof Shiwalo, who was also appointed to the position of procurement officer, failed the interview pass rate of 65% with 62.5% and should not have been appointed.

Likewise, Daphney Muetudhana was appointed to the position of bid evaluation committee secretary and did not meet the advertised requirement, as she only has grade 12 certificate as opposed to the advertised requirement of a diploma in secretarial studies, office administration, paralegal or business administration.

"She did not have the required minimum of two to three years typing and minutes taking experience, she had only nine months experience that she gained at CPBN, where she served as secretary of the bid evaluation committee and experience as sales consultant at Micca Sale and Marketing," the report said, adding that she should not have been shortlisted, interviewed and appointed.

Equally, the report says Leonard Tsheehama, who was also appointed to the position of procurement officer, did not meet the advertised requirement of two to three years of typing and minutes taking, as he only has one year and seven months work experience at the CPBN, where he started as an intern in November 2017.

"Tsheehama should not have been shortlisted, interviewed and appointed. It was unfair, irregular and prejudicial to add afterwards additional short-listing criteria, which were not part of the advertised requirements, to benefit Muetudhana and Tsheehama at the expense of other shortlisted candidates," the report reads.

The report says the employees of the board were grossly negligent by shortlisting for interview applicants who did not meet the advertised requirements and who were appointed afterwards, or appointed applicants who did not obtain the pass rate of 65% during interviews.

Walters in the report recommended the board takes the necessary disciplinary action against those who were responsible for the mistakes that led to the irregular appointments of persons and inform the watchdog of the outcome.

"The board should review its recruitment policy, especially paragraph 4.5 thereof, to give more 'flesh to the body', a good example to imitate is the recruitment policy of the public service," the report reads.

"The board must strive to achieve a balance structure of its staff and equal access to all its recruitment process," the report recommended.

- ktjitemisa@nepc.com.na

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