Call for removal of entire NYC board

NYC representative council, William Minnie

Members of the Representative Council (RC) of the National Youth Council (NYC) have called for the dismissal of the entire NYC board and executive chairperson saying they are failing the youth and not carrying out their mandate.

This comes after an RC meeting of the NYC was called off last week as a result of infighting among attendees and the organisation’s leaders.

The complaints led to the suspension of the NYC’s executive director, Calista Schwartz-Gowases after she failed to provide the minutes of the previous representative council meeting.

A member of the representative council, William Minnie yesterday morning said Schwartz-Gowases’suspension was expected.
“The suspension was expected and the RC has agreed and called for the total removal of the board and the executive chairperson.

“We believe the NYC as a whole, administrative-wise and leadership-wise, has failed, and so has every other young person in this country,” he said.

Minnie was speaking to Desert Radio.

“If you go to Katutura, specifically Havana, and you ask the youth if they know about the NYC, they would not,” he said.

Minnie said nothing is happening at grassroots level, but the NYC’s top structure is plagued by internal fighting.

“That in itself not only tarnishes the NYC, but also fails the young people of this country, because it is not carrying out its mandates,” he said.

A founding member of the NYC, Uhuru Dempers, said it is sad that the organisation they have created has become “such a huge disappointment”, not only to the youth, but the entire nation.

Calista Schwartz-Gowases

“I remember when the current board was appointed, I was probably the first person who requested a meeting with them for more than an hour and gave them orientation and briefed them on the national development agenda from a civil society perspective.

“I have always been monitoring them, and a few years ago I became worried, because a lot of things were not happening. The youth was not getting services on the ground,” he said.

Dempers said the issue regarding interpreting the powers of the executive chair and the director of the NYC was one of the early “disastrous signs” at the organisation.

He advised that the entire board, the director and the chairperson share responsibilities and all take blame.

“They should all take the blame. There needs to be a preparatory meeting, the staff needs to prepare for such a meeting, and make sure everything is in place, like roll-call, minutes, and an attendance list.

“For them to travel all the way to Ondangwa not knowing whether these things are in place, and pointing fingers in the meeting in front of the youth council is a shame,” he said.

Sharonice Busch

Executive chairperson Sharonice Busch yesterday said Schwartz-Gowases has filed grievances against her with the minister of sport, youth and national service, Agnes Tjongarero.

“I can confirm that she has filed grievances against me with the minister. I can also put it on record that I have no grievances against the director.

“I merely acted on grievances brought to my office by various staff members and management against the director.

“Those allegations have been investigated. I can’t speak about those outcomes, because I’m yet to receive a report on the outcome of that special investigation,” she said.

Schwartz-Gowases this week told The Namibian her suspension is not valid and it was not conducted fairly, which is why she refused to accept her suspension letter.

“All I requested the board to do is give me a consent letter that is given by the line ministry, because the line ministry must consent and give approval for my suspension.

“So, all I said is that if that is provided and that consent has been given, I will clearly take the suspension letter,” she said.

Schwartz-Gowases said although she considers the suspension as invalid, she is still not able to go back to work because the locks to her office have been changed.

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