Simataa ‘Freddy’ Mwiya will remain as chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission until minister Agnes Tjongarero can prove to the court why her decision to direct the board to advertise Mwiya’s position should not be reviewed and set aside.
On Friday, Mwiya and the sports ministry signed an agreement that stipulates that he will remain in his position as chief administrator until the court dispute is settled.
The agreement further stipulates that Mwiya “accepts the salary of the first tier of the schedule of state-owned enterprises”.
He also agreed that he would abandon seeking a court interdict that will restrict Tjongarero from advertising his position and appointing someone other than him who is recommended by the commission’s board. In addition, the matter will not be heard on an urgent basis.
The parties agreed that all these will be made an order of the court today when the matter appears before judge Kobus Miller.
Mwiya instituted court proceedings against Tjongarero after she refused to renew his contract for another five years, as recommended by the commission’s board.
Tjongarero said in a letter dated 24 May 2022 and addressed to chairperson Joel Matheus that she told the board to advertise the position of chief administrator to allow interested Namibians to apply for this position, which they failed to do.
“The tenure of the current chief administrator, Mr Freddy Mwiya, expired on 31 March 2022. In my correspondence dated 21 October 2021, I requested that you inform him accordingly,” reads the letter.
“The same correspondence also requested for a name of a person to act in the interim. Since then, I have waited in vain for the position to be advertised as well as the name of the nominee to act,” said Tjongarero in her letter.
She also complained about Mwiya’s salary increase, which was unauthorised, and the board ignored her directive to reverse that increase.
In April 2018, Mwiya’s salary was increased to N$1 229 503 per annum, despite remuneration guidelines and the classification of SOEs stating that the total package of the chief administrator cannot exceed N$900 000 per year.
Interestingly, the commission chose to allow Mwiya to continue carrying out the functions of the office of the chief administrator, which is in direct contravention of the minister’s directives.
The board’s continued defiance led to Tjongarero’s decision to fire the entire NSC board on Tuesday last week.
The board consisted of Matheus as board chairperson, Linda Chicalu, Erica Beukes, Thomas Mbeeli, Karen Mubonenwa and Dr Marius Johannes.