An employee, accused of stealing at least N$2 million from the Namibia College of Open Learning, has resigned while still under investigation, a statement issued by the institution reveals.
The employee has also committed to repay whatever they stole from the entity.
“It is worth noting that the staff member implicated in the alleged wrongdoing has voluntarily resigned and signed an acknowledgement of debt, which paves the way for the recovery of the misappropriated funds,” said Namcol’s spokesperson Laimi Mbago in a statement yesterday.
When contacted yesterday, Mbago blatantly refused to disclose the name of the employee in question, citing internal due processes.
The Namibian Sun, however, last week reported that accountant Julia Imene is the employee at the centre of the alleged theft.
Imene is fingered to have misappropriated unclaimed refunds belonging to students, amounting to N$2.5 million.
The Namcol figure and that reported in the media are miles apart.
“Upon learning of the allegations through our own internal structures, Namcol immediately initiated internal investigations to determine the veracity of the claims. Our preliminary findings suggest a sum of N$305 770 may have been misappropriated by a certain staff member.
“To ensure the integrity and impartiality of the investigation process, Namcol is planning to engage the services of external independent auditors, who will conduct a comprehensive review of the financial records and transactions related to the alleged incident,” Mbago added.
Namcol, Mbago hastened to say, encourages individuals possessing relevant information to come forward and provide it to the appropriate authorities, including the Namibian Police or the Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Namcol takes these allegations with the utmost seriousness they deserve and affirms its commitment to a zero-tolerance stance against theft, fraud and corruption in any form.
Namcol recognises the importance of maintaining public trust and ensuring the responsible use of public funds dedicated to the advancement of education and training,” Mbago said in the statement.
Namcol, she added, has also taken legal action to address the matter. A criminal case has been opened with the police.
“We vehemently deny any allegation or insinuation of a cover-up,” Mbago said. -firstname.lastname@example.org