NIP insider accuses ministers of misrepresentation

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

A senior employee of the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) has accused Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula and Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste of misrepresenting facts, in effect lying about NIP getting N$39 million monthly from the Health Ministry.

According to a company source, the state owned entity never received any monthly grant from the ministry because the ministry is merely paying what it owes NIP. “They are paying what they owe to NIP in terms of services rendered which was not paid and is long overdue now,” the source said.

About two weeks ago, Shangula and Jooste released a joint response to NIP employees and their trade union NAPWU’s petition, which demanded a salary increment of the employees. The workers want a salary hike of 10 percent in the current financial year, but the ministers said salaries could not be adjusted because NIP is in dire financial straits with a monthly shortfall of approximately N$6 million.

NIP’s monthly operating expenses amount to around N$44 million, inclusive of the wage bill, which currently stands at N$21 million, whilst its monthly income from the line ministry is N$39 million.

“If the company effects salary increases for 2019/2020, such increase will translate into an additional N$4 million monthly to the company’s operational expenses. In turn, this will push upward the cash flow shortfall to N$10 million monthly,” the ministers said in their response.

The source said the ministers accepted this assertion about the purported “monthly grant” from the Health Ministry from NIP board members without assessing it themselves.

“It’s so strange that the board of directors who, according to the two ministers, serve the interest of the company, are not mentioning how much the Ministry of Health and Social Services owe NIP. The board is just playing blind loyal with misrepresentations to the ministers. Everything will be laid bare. We are sick and tired of being taken for granted.” In response to recent claims by NIP board member Frans Kwala that there was rampant maladministration at NIP, the insider labelled him “a motor-mouth” and asked: “Is he really there to protect the interest of the company? At the slightest utterance and at any given moment he is bringing the name of the company into disrepute. Calling the employees of a company whose interest he apparently serves and protects as ‘useless’ and ‘incompetent’ is totally uncalled for.

“Why not be man enough and direct his utterances to whom he talks instead of generalising and calling the employees incompetent and useless? Yet he is claiming sitting allowance from revenue generated by useless people. “Why is he hell-bent in defending legal costs (of lawyers dealing with disciplinary cases of suspended executives)?

“Fighting corruption is not costly, but fighting corruption with corruption is costly,” they said.

Contacted for comment Jooste referred this publication to the Ministry of Health. Shangula in turn said only that the ministry never dealt with NIP in the wage dispute but with NAPWU.