Double-dipping spy agency employee defeated

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Double-dipping spy agency employee defeated

A Namibia Central Intelligence Service employee, stationed at the Office of the President who admitted to receiving N$798 000 in double salaries, had his reinstatement bid discarded by the Supreme Court.

Immanuel Shivute’s reinstatement to his position as chief training officer, as ordered by the High Court was set aside by the Supreme Court, following an appeal by the Office of the President and the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS).

He  was initially dismissed from his job after he admitted that he continued receiving his salary from the education ministry for a period of 30 months despite having resigned to join NCIS. He also admitted failing to report the matter to NCIS human resources.

He pocketed N$798 000. 

The Anti-Corruption Commission investigated the matter, and in May 2017, Shivute was arraigned on criminal charges. However, the case was withdrawn in July 2018.

He was however found guilty during the disciplinary process after the panel found that his conduct amounted to acting in a disgraceful, improper, or unbecoming manner detrimental to the government and NCIS.

The disciplinary panel also concluded that there were elements of dishonesty on his part and that trust had been broken as a result. Thus, the panel recommended that he be discharged from the intelligence service.

Shivute appealed the decision, and the High Court ordered his reinstatement, citing that the President did not apply his mind, and failed to consider that the charges of theft on which the disciplinary proceedings were based were withdrawn.

But on Tuesday, in a Supreme Court appeal judgement, judges Essi Schimming-Chase, Dave Smuts, and Hosea Angula agreed that there was no basis for the High Court to order Shivute’s reinstatement.

The judges said the fact that Shivute kept on receiving his salary for 30 months and failed to report it, called into question the integrity, confidence, and trust the NCIS could have in him.

Further, the judges said his conduct involved a level of deceit and dishonesty.

“This court has in the context of employment recognised that where conduct involves misrepresentation or deception, it would not be fair to compel an employer to retain an employee in whom it has justifiably lost all confidence,” said the judges.

The court also concluded that Shivute failed to convince the court that the appeal against his reinstatement must be dismissed.