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Kaumbi drops suit against Nust

2023-08-30  Maria Amakali

Kaumbi drops suit against Nust

Namibia University of Science and Technology’s chief legal brain Joshua Kaumbi has withdrawn a suit against his employer wherein he challenged his suspension.

Kaumbi, who was suspended on 28 April after the university accused him of leaking confidential information to the media, filed the suit in May this year. 

However, the legal head’s suspension was lifted on 20 July. He resumed work on 25 July. 

Yesterday, Kaumbi’s lawyer, Hafeni Hamunyela confirmed the lifting of the suspension after a notice to withdraw a review application against the institution was filed.

“The suspension was lifted. So, there is no reason for us to continue with the application challenging the suspension,” said Hamunyela.

Kaumbi approached the High Court in May seeking an order reviewing and setting aside Nust vice chancellor Erold Naomab’s decision to suspend him on 28 April.

In an affidavit submitted to the court, Kaumbi contends his suspension is illegal, illogical and unjust, citing the minister of higher education, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, did not approve his suspension as required by law.

According to Kaumbi, his suspension is imprecise and does not identify any important information of the purported major sins he purportedly committed.

Naomab, according to Kaumbi, has failed to give the underlying reasons for his use of the suspension procedure, as well as reasons why he believes Kaumbi is guilty of the claimed misconduct.

He said the suspension letter does not state the time period he shared the confidential information and which media house or houses he shared it with. 

The letter also does not stipulate the nature and manner in which the information was shared, he said. 

“The suspension letter is extremely vague and amounts to an abuse of the suspension procedure and it is actually a fishing expedition where the second respondent [Naomab] hopes to find some evidence of me having shared some information with the media. I know he shall not find any such information,” Kaumbi argued in court papers. 

According to him, the suspension was implemented with an ulterior motive. 

Nust, who have noted their intention to defend the application, yesterday asked Judge Eileen Rakow for Kaumbi to bear the wasted legal cost. The matter is ongoing.

 

Defamation

It is not the only legal action Kaumbi is involved in. 

The lawyer has a pending suit that he filed earlier this month against the institution’s spokesperson, John Haufiku, for allegedly defaming his character.

This is in relation to his appearance on NBC’s  ‘1On1’ talk show on 4 July, where he made remarks that he was suspended as a result of leaking information to the media.

Haufiku’s reported comments were understood and intended to suggest that Kaumbi colluded with some media outlets to drag Nust’s reputation into contempt, said Kaumbi.

According to Kaumbi, the words were interpreted to suggest that he disregarded his fiduciary duty to Nust, lacked professional ethics and integrity, and was dishonest and untruthful to the institution.

He claims Haufiku failed to disclose that he had filed the complaint against Kaumbi with Nust and was thus compromised by a personal interest.

He is claiming N$500 000 in damages as a result. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2023-08-30  Maria Amakali

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