A draft agreement, which was submitted by a Malaysian university to the ministry of higher education for possible discussion, was rejected and never carried forward, minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi told lawmakers yesterday.
“Therefore, all the elements of the unsigned agreement were nothing else but the Malaysian wish list that was never realised. And there is no such agreement in the offing between our ministry or the Government of the Republic of Namibia,” she said.
The higher education minister has been accused of having a close relationship with the Limkokwing University by Windhoek mayor and Affirmative Repositioning movement leader Job Amupanda.
Amupanda also charged the minister was part of a well-orchestrated plan to weaken the work of the local institutions in favour of the Malaysians.
However, in a ministerial statement in the National Assembly yesterday, Kandjii-Murangi vehemently denied allegations linking her to the Malaysian institution. The draft agreement widely circulated by Amupanda suggests government has committed to funding the set-up of a Centre of Excellence for Technical Vocational Education and Training.
There have also been claims government committed to providing funding to 2 000 students. The university has already started operations in Namibia while awaiting its accreditation from the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA).
Kandjii-Murangi furthermore reiterated that she does not own any stake in any university, saying anyone having documents to support such allegations should come forward.
“For the past two weeks, there has been a litany of false allegations and fabrications against my name and person in the social and print media that portray me as corrupt. These are all fabrications that are aimed at tarnishing my good name and reputation without any shred of truth,” she said.
According to Kandjii-Murangi, the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology is an internationally reputable vocational training model university, solely owned by Malaysians.
The minister said there was also no intention on her part to weaken the work of the Namibia Training Authority, which is currently the custodian of vocational training in the country.
“The TVET policy I recently launched speaks clearly what and how we intend to improve and promote the work of NTA and promote TVET as having career pathways of choice,” she said.
The minister added there would be no ring-fencing of funds for any institution or students, saying this remains the domain of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
“I, as minister do not have a role too in the awards. All registered private universities by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) that are sanctioned by NQA to operate, their local students become eligible for NSFAF funding; they compete with all others and those that meet the set NSFAF requirements become eligible for funding.”