The gender equality ministry has dissolved the board of the National Disability Council of Namibia following widespread reports of infighting.
The ministry said it was left with no choice but to dissolve the board and appoint an interim one to oversee the affairs of the beleaguered council.
The disability council has not been fully carrying out its core mandate of disability affairs, as it has been rocked with controversial infighting, which crippled the council as far back as 2013.
Deputy minister responsible for disability affairs Alexia Manombe-Ncube last week dissolved the council based on the powers vested in her in accordance with the provisions of the National Disability Council Act, Act 26 of 2004, Section (8) (2). Based on this provision, Manombe-Ncube said the ministry allowed council members to respond in writing to concerns regarding infights and non-compliance hampering the progress within the NDCN.
“The ministry received their responses, however, they (council members) did not provide equivocal clarifications as to why they were unable to fulfil their judicial duties as duly appointed council members of the NDCN.
The core values of the NDCN stress the implementation of the National Policy on Disability in the manner provided by the NDCN Act, Act 26 of 2004 and to generally take all necessary steps to improve the situation of persons with disabilities in Namibia. However, council members have since their inauguration on 3 June 2020, failed to show the effective and collective efforts to address issues of national concern,” she reacted. She said the council was further unsuccessful in effectively executing its duties as related to signed performance agreements as per the provision in Public Enterprise Governance Act (PEGA), produce minutes of meetings to the minister held during 2018/2019.
Furthermore, the deputy minister stated the council members were given a second opportunity during the meeting, which was held on 22 February 2021, in which they had an audience with the ministry, where they were requested to rectify the dysfunctionality of the council and possible reconciliation.
“However, the exercise proved futile. The council was still inundated by elements that brought the council’s name into disrepute such as; dysfunctionality, turmoil within the council, council members undermining the appointing authority of the council by the line ministry, failure in judiciary duties, failure to oversee that effective corporate governance is complied with and breaching of both NDCN and PEGA Acts,” Manombe-Ncube reacted. The ministry has thus appointed an interim board to serve the council for six months.
The new members are Samuel Ankama, Lidwina Shapwa, Cynthy Haihambo-Ya-Otto, Beata Armas, Roster Chali Matengu, Johannes Matsi and Damoline Muruko.