Ailly Titus and Rebecca Iyambo

By Shinovene Immanuel and Eliaser Ndeyanale | 14 August 2020


A year ago, chief taxation officer Frieda Haikonda was allegedly caught stealing a five-litre container of cleaning gel worth about N$150 from the Ministry of Finance.

This is reportedly one of a number of cases in which civil servants have found themselves in the firing line over petty crimes, while more serious cases implicating senior government officials have been ignored.

The cleaning gel was found in Haikonda’s Amarok vehicle on 9 August 2019, a June 2020 charge-sheet drawn up by finance executive director Ericah Shafudah said.

“I have reason to believe you are guilty of misconduct,” Shafudah said in a letter.

She was then hauled before a disciplinary committee chaired by Benedictus Likando, who last month recommended to prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila that Haikonda be fired.

Haikonda is appealing the decision.

She declined to comment when approached by The Namibian.

“I don’t think it is my place to comment at this point in time since my case is not finalised yet.”

Shafudah herself escaped potentially hefty punishment three years ago.

Secretary to the Cabinet George Simataa gave Shafudah a final warning in 2017 for failing to protect the government when it overpaid a fuel storage facility contract of N$5,5 billion by N$1,7 billion.

Shafudah has previously denied any wrongdoing.

MORE RED CARDS

Haikonda’s case is not the only one.

A cleaner was fired for allegedly stealing a printing cartridge, while a customs officer, who purportedly smuggled Zambian beers into the country during the lockdown, faces a possible red card.

An administrative official was allegedly fired for slightly damaging a government vehicle.

These dismissals have led to allegations of double standards on the part of some staff.

This includes claims that a clique of senior officials only apply the rules when it suits them.

CRONIES FAVOURED

Sources allege several cases of nepotism and illegal overtime payments.

Efforts by officials to investigate these cases are said to have been blocked by the associates of those implicated.

This includes a case involving a domestic worker who landed a job in the inland tax revenue department as office administrator five years ago. The position was reportedly not advertised.

The official is the sister of the current director of administration in the finance ministry, Ailly Titus, who was deputy training director at the time.

It appears Titus’ sister did not qualify for the job. The requirements were to have obtained Grade 12, 20 points and an E in English.

Documents show she had 13 points in five Grade 12 subjects and a G in English.

According to her CV, Titus’ sister was a domestic worker before taking up the job at inland revenue where she earns N$98 200 a year.

Ministry of Finance. Photo: Contributed

Titus declined to comment. She said she forwarded her answers to The Namibian’s questions to the ministerial spokesperson.

The ministry confirmed that Uupindi is indeed Titus’ sister.

“For now I can confirm that Ms Titus was not involved in any process leading to her appointment. In fact she was on compassionate leave at the time and there is proof of that. But we are still investigating this case as well,” the spokesperson said.

TREASURY TENSIONS

In recent years, workplace tensions at the ministry have escalated.

This is reflected in an email human resources officer Evindina Amun­yela sent to new finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi and other senior officials on 2 August.

She charged there were “too much favouritism and nepotism” in the administration division when it came to hiring and promoting staff.

Amunyela mentioned a case in 2018 involving the position of deputy director for legal support and compliance in the procurement department which was initially advertised in November 2017.

The job was allegedly readvertised despite one of the three people interviewed qualifying with 50%.

“I was the secretary (for the interview committee). Ms Valerie van Schalkwyk and I were chased away from the boardroom by Rebecca Iyambo (chairperson of the interview committee) after questions were already set,” Amunyela said.

Click to view Evindina Amunyela email.

At the time, Iyambo was the director of administration at the ministry.

“Apparently she wanted to say something to the interview committee. After the interviews, she decided the position shall be readvertised despite the fact that there was a candidate who scored 50%,” Amunyela said in the email.

Interview score sheets show that Apha Haihambo, one of the two candidates, achieved more than 50%.

Patricia Keeja, one of the five panellists, gave Haihambo a 63% score, but this was apparently changed to 57%.

Another panellist, Michelle Pieters initially gave Haihambo a score of 57%.

The score was allegedly lowered to 43%. This reportedly affected the overall score.
Keeja felt Haihambo had the ability to run the department, documents indicate.

However, the five-member panel recommended that the position be readvertised because they found none of the candidates suitable.

Interview committee chairperson Iyambo, who is now acting executive director of international relations and cooperation, described the allegations against her as a smear campaign.

“Ask the Ministry of Finance, because I would step out of my boundaries if I answer your questions,” she said on Tuesday.

INVESTIGATION

In her email, Amunyela asked the minister to intervene in cases of alleged nepotism.

“All we are looking for is the chain of corruption to be broken for the benefit of all Namibian people. What is happening in the administration of the Ministry of Finance is really beyond the scope of the Public Service Charter,” she wrote.

“Kindly be informed that the staff members of the Ministry of Finance and members of the public will arrange a peaceful demonstration against corruption, nepotism, favouritism, unfair treatment and all irregular practices in the Ministry of Finance and the public service at large. The date and time is to be communicated.”

Efforts to get comment from Amunyela were not successful.

A senior ministry official questioned Amunyela’s credibility and accused her of intimidating fellow colleagues.

She was ordered to work from home after she allegedly threatened to physically attack colleagues including acting director of human resources Veronika Shirunga, senior human resources officer Maria Nangombe, another senior human resources official Ivan Hamukwaya, and administration director Ailly Titus.

The Namibian sent questions to Shiimi on the probability of addressing the allegations.
Treasury spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu responded on Tuesday, saying the minister has ordered an investigation into claims of corruption and nepotism.

“We are aware of the email sent by staff member Evindina Amunyela in which she raised and complained about a host of serious issues related to recruitment processes and alleged favouritism and corruption,” Shidhudhu said.

“Please take note that the ministry does not condone or support favouritism, nepotism and victimisation of any sort, and where there is evidence supporting these allegations, appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

* This article was produced by The Namibian’s Investigative Unit. Send us tips via your secure email to [email protected].

134 COMMENTS

  1. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i
    subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable
    deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  2. You actually help it become appear quite simple along with your presentation but I to find this matter to get actually
    something which I feel I would personally in no way understand.
    It kind of feels too complex and extremely huge in my opinion. I’m having a look ahead for your subsequent set up, I’ll try and receive the hang than it!

    Also visit my page … chic sparrow waypoint

  3. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding.
    The clearness in your post is simply cool and i could assume you are an expert on this
    subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  4. І’ve been browsing onlie more than three hours aѕ of late, yet
    I by no means found any fascinating artіcle like yours.

    It’s beautiful value enouցh for me. In my opinion, if alⅼ
    website ߋwners and bloggers made juѕt right content as you probably
    did, the іnternet will be a loot moгe hеlpful tһan eνer Ьeforе.

  5. hi!,I love your writing so much! percentage we communicate
    more approximately your post on AOL? I require an expert in this area to resolve my problem.

    Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to look you.

  6. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a
    hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely
    unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but
    I had to ask!

  7. I must say, this is one of the best posts I’ve read on this topic. Your attention to detail and the thorough research is evident. It’s refreshing to see such well-thought-out content. Thanks for making a valuable contribution to the discussion!

  8. I like this website very much, Its a real nice post to read and incur information. “From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” by Sir Winston Churchill.

  9. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.

    I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.

    Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  10. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate
    to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for
    bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.

    Chat soon!

  11. It costs more than a new Mercedes-Benz and more than a yacht to sail around the world. The features of this City Steamer are: real crocodile leather production, leather lining, engraved padlock, Louis Vuitton bag for pickwomenbag.com Outlet logo with nameplate and hot stamping.

  12. According to sources, starting from February 18, Louis Vuitton bag for pickwomenbag.com Outlet will increase the price of global products. As soon as the news came out, not only did it not meet the cold, but it ignited the enthusiasm for consumption in the Chinese market. A Beijing netizen complained that buying a bag looks like going to a market. “The popular models have been out of stock for a long time, and it takes an hour to queue in front of the Louis Vuitton bag for pickwomenbag.com Outlet door to enter the store.”

  13. You have remarked very interesting details! ps decent internet site. “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” by Conan Doyle.

  14. The bags also continue the theme of this season, and the materials and shapes reflect the ocean theme concretely. Shell-shaped bags, fish-scale bags, and fishing net imagery elements also appear one after another. A package costs more than 10,000! Louis Vuitton bag for pickwomenbag.com Outlet, Dior, Chanel… Prices have risen again, buying a bag is more fragrant than buying a fund Including Louis Vuitton bag for pickwomenbag.com Outlet, Loewe, Celine, Kenzo, Fendi, etc.; perfume and cosmetics brands include Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Pui Lingfei, Fresh, etc.

  15. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe
    guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to send me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  16. Attractive part of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog
    and in accession capital to assert that I get
    in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you
    get admission to persistently fast.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here