Union wants ACC to probe NIP bank accounts

Paulus Noa

NAMIBIA’S biggest trade union has asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the decision of Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) executives to give its top officials a fuel allowance of N$20 000 per year.

Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) general secretary Petrus Nevonga has requested the ACC to investigate alleged corruption at the NIP, including some of the parastatal’s Bank Windhoek account transactions.

He requested this in a letter, which The Namibian has seen, addressed to ACC director general Paulus Noa on 28 February.

“In terms of NIP recruitment and remuneration policies, executive officials are employed on a five-year contract, which contains several benefits made specifically for executives, including car allowances incorporated in their total cost to company.

“It is, however, alleged that the executives at NIP secretly came up with additional benefits in the form of a car scheme through which the NIP buys them high-end cars of their choice and provides fuel worth N$20 000 per month,” Nevonga wrote.

Part of his demands are that the ACC should investigate transactions of the NIP’s Bank Windhoek account and probe whether the institute complies with the Public Procurement Act and its regulations.

He also asked the anti-graft agency to investigate whether a board resolution exists, which recommends the minister’s approval of extended benefits for NIP executives and whether a resolution by the minister of finance and public enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi, has approved the car scheme.

The Namibian reported late last year that the parastatal spent N$5,3 million on its top five executives, amid claims that the institute is navigating financial turbulence.

The NIP paid N$1,1 million as a settlement for chief executive Kapena Tjombonde’s Mercedes Benz, while Nabot Uushona, the chief technical officer, received a Ford Ranger, which the parastatal paid N$1 million for and Vincent Nowaseb, the NIP’s chief operations officer, received a Nissan worth N$987 000.

The NIP further purchased Oaitse van Staden, the chief human capital officer, a Toyota Fortuner worth N$1,1 million and Scholastika Mwetulundila, the chief financial officer, an Amarok worth N$1 million.

Documents show these payments were made on 17 and 28 November 2023.

The company’s employees handed over a petition to the NIP board in December, protesting the misuse of funds.

They claimed the NIP executives had splurged funds on luxury vehicles, despite a plethora of service interruptions due to instruments malfunctioning and stock shortages.

Nevonga told Noa the board opted to defend the executives, instead of addressing the problem after this demonstration.

“It is Napwu’s conviction that the ACC, as mandated by the law, holds the authority to investigate allegations of corruption as defined by its act,” he said.

He said the financial mismanagement at the parastatal is concerning.

“This suspected financial mismanagement triggered public concerns . . . Napwu . . . sought clarification from NIP executives and its board.

“Regrettably, NIP beneficiary executives, in collaboration with the board, contended that their actions were sanctioned within the purview of the board,” he said.

Petrus Nevonga


A request by NIP board chairperson Bryan Eiseb in April 2022 to change its management’s remuneration saw Tjombonde’s salary increasing from N$1,5 million to N$1,6 million a year.

This translates to N$137 000 a month.

Shiimi approved this on condition that the executives determine a threshold and develop policies before remuneration is implemented.

The policies would be presented to the board for approval.

Insiders, however, claim almost two years later, no policies have been developed.

Noa, when contacted for comment, said: “I have not been in office since 29 February. I shall, however, be in office tomorrow. The investigators had a meeting outside Windhoek as well.”

ACC spokesperson Josefina Nghituwamata has confirmed that the institution has received the complaint.

“The commission will evaluate the complaint,” she said this week.

Tjombonde this week said she is not aware of Napwu requesting the ACC to investigate.

“The NIP has not received such a request,” she said.

Eiseb has previously defended the purchase of luxury cars, saying the company has budgeted N$7,5 million for it.

“The introduction of the vehicle scheme is legitimate, lawful and standard practice for commercial enterprises . . . nothing is fraudulent, corrupt or untoward regarding the introduction of vehicle schemes at the NIP,” he said in a letter to the workers union’s representative committee chairperson Natalia Endjala in December.

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