THE speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, will step down as a trustee of the Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt) after 29 years' involvement although his active engagement with the institution ended in 2003.
"My active engagement with Nimt ended in 2003 when I was assigned as our country's ambassador to Belgium and the EU. I understand that the Nimt leadership took a long time to remove my name from their board members but that was done eventually," said Katjavivi.
The chairperson of the Nimt board of trustees, Albius Mwiya, confirmed that Katjavivi is still a trustee, because a trustee can only be removed or replaced by the donor, through death or resignation.
"He is still a trustee and he was never replaced. We are in that process now, and he will resign and be replaced. He has indicated that he will resign. But as it stands, he is a trustee of Nimt and his name is on the trust certificate," said Mwiya.
Katjavivi is one of the three founder trustees of Nimt whose names still appear on the trust certificate. The others are Reine Gever and Albi Bruckner. There is no time frame on how long one can serve as a Nimt trustee.
The power to remove and replace members of the board of trustees, according to the trust deed, lies with the donor, although the institution was a donation to the government. The first trustees were inducted on 17 October 1991, with Rössing Uranium Limited listed as the donor.
It seems the government never took full responsibility for the institution as there is no legislative act on which it was established although it is listed as a non-commercial state-owned enterprise on the Ministry of Public Enterprises website.
The current trustees have started the process to correct the institution's governance issues. This process includes the replacement of trustees who have passed on, and those who are still alive will have to resign. Trustees are drawn from the donor, Rössing Uranium, the ministries of mines, of education and of labour. Other trustees will be from the Namibia Chamber of Mines as well as from the public sector.