The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) has challenged the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to institute criminal proceedings against the management of the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) following a damning ombudsman report, which found some recent recruitments at the tender body as “irregular, unfair and prejudicial”.
Ombudsman John Walters, in response to a complaint filed by the Nudo secretary general Josef Kauandenge, last week said he could not make a definite finding in regard to the allegation that the majority or all of the appointees are from one ethic group.
He said this is because the board could not provide any explanation for the happening – neither could he draw any reasonable inference from available information.
However, he said, his office has found that six of the 14 recruits did not meet either advertised requirement or either have failed the interview processes.
According to Kauandenge, the Office of the Ombudsman is empowered by legislation to rectify shortcomings in recruitment processes in state-owned enterprises.
“We thought that the Office of the Ombudsman will have the balls to order a fresh re-advertisement of the said post in the interest of justice. It is unfortunate that the ombudsman is showing once again that he has no teeth to bite and is a mere nuisance,” he added.
“I, therefore, call upon the ACC to get into this fray, investigate and criminality prosecute those officials who have committed fraud in order to employ unqualified people into positions of trust.”
In April and May this year, the CPBN board appointed 14 new staff members.
Upon this, a post started circulating on social media, pointing out the new appointments are all from the same ethnic group.
Of the 14 recruits, only one male official made the cut.
The report says the employees of the board were grossly negligent by shortlisting for interview applicants who did not meet the advertised requirements and who were appointed afterwards, or appointed applicants who did not obtain the pass rate of 65% during interviews.
Walters, in the report, recommended the board takes the necessary disciplinary action against those who were responsible for the mistakes that led to the irregular appointments of persons and inform the watchdog of the outcome.