WALVIS BAY - A training officer at the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), Keetmanshoop campus, Onno Nghidileko was fired last week Monday by the institution, whose planned retrenchment of 40 employees was put on hold after the line ministry intervened.
Nghidileko says he was verbally fired shortly after the institution's Executive Director, Eckhart Mueller allegedly received a call from Nampol with regard to a case CR78/05/2018 Nghidileko had opened against Mueller in May for referring to him as an “a*****e” in a recorded telephone call.
Mueller who is accused of allegedly intimidating his employees can clearly be heard saying “a*****e” in German, seconds before the nine-minute call ended. According to Nghidileko, the investigating officers allegedly asked Mueller last week to submit a statement with regard to the incident while he was in Keetmanshoop for the start of the new NIMT intake.
He told New Era he was called into a meeting shortly after the ceremony by Mueller and several board members, whereby he was questioned about the charge. “I was asked why I made the case against my boss and I was then fired immediately. I have been employed at NIMT for five years. During this time, I have never received a written or verbal warning, never been called for a disciplinary hearing, nor was I suspended for any wrongdoing,” he said.
In fact, he says he was told on several occasions he will be promoted to senior training officer because of his work ethics and potential.
Nghidileko is also one of the employees labelled as instigators after they forwarded grievances to the Ministry of Education, Training and Innovation as well as the Prime Minister’s offices to look into the affairs of NIMT earlier this year.
In the recorded conversation, Mueller could clearly be heard dismissing as ‘nonsense’ the grievances made by NIMT employees forwarded to the board and various ministries.
With regard to the issue Mueller told New Era yesterday morning that Nghidileko was fired because he is an instigator.
Asked why proper procedures were not communicated or a dismissal letter given to Nghidileko, Mueller said, ‘because I can’. He also said that Nghidileko will receive his dismissal letter next week which will be followed by a ‘disciplinary hearing.’ Mueller then terminated the call and he refused to respond to further questions that were sent to him.
Meanwhile, New Era learned yesterday morning that a delegation of the Ministry of Higher Education Training and Innovations is visiting NIMT.