By Confidente Reporter
NAMIBIA Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) CEO, Hilya Nghiwete has exposed that her working relationship with Higher Education PS, Alfred van Kent is unhealthy explaining that the latter occasionally raises his voice and points fingers at her.
The matter is so serious to an extent that Higher Education Minister, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi intervened while Nghiwete in December last year approached the PS to ensure that there was no bad blood between them.
Nghiwete made the startling revelations in a letter dated October 14 to the Higher Education Minister in which she claims victimisation, harassment and disempowerment to carry out her duties as CEO by NSFAF board and its chairperson Patty Karuaihe-Martin.
In the letter, Nghiwete narrated that Karuaihe-Martin told her that she needed to build a good relationship with the ministry because van Kent allegedly hated her. “The chairperson of the board informed on one occasion that she needs to assist me building a good relationship with the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation. I inquired from her why she concluded that I do not have a good relationship with the line ministry. She informed me that the permanent secretary of the ministry has so much hatred for me,” the letter reads in part.
Nghiwete explained that in meetings, the PS raises his voice and points his fingers at her. “…At one point, the honourable minister stopped him and told him that we cannot speak pointing fingers to people.”
In December 2015, Nghiwete said that she made a conscious decision to approach the PS in a bid to clear the air. “He confirmed to me that he has no problem with me but only with the former minister Dr Namwandi. Why that had to affect our professional relationship was not made known to me.”
Contacted for comment, van Kent admitted to having long-standing issues with Nghiwete but quickly pointed out that they have sorted out their differences long before the letter was written.
“I have seen the letter and there are misunderstandings which we sorted out. There have been long standing issues between us but we solved them in numerous meetings that we had. There are no difficulties between us,” said van Kent defending himself.
Asked about his relationship with Nghiwete lately, van Kent said “We have a normal official working relationship. We are colleagues and we work together very well.”
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