ACC Refuses to Probe Nangolo-Rukoro

SUSPENDED Namibia Training Authority chief executive officer Maria Nangolo-Rukoro has challenged the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate allegations of corruption levelled against her.

The allegations emanate from Nangolo-Rukoro’s troubles with the NTA board of directors, which have resulted in a protracted disciplinary hearing that has been postponed several times.

However, the ACC has refused to investigate the issue, stating that some of the allegations could be dealt with internally.

ACC director Paulus Noa last week said the allegations had been forwarded to the Ministry of Education because they are straightforward. He said he requested the ministry to study the allegations and if it finds elements of corruption, to forward them to the ACC.

“The allegations could have been dealt with by the board,” Noa said.

Nangolo-Rukoro and Noa were responding to a report by The Villager newspaper this week.

The report said allegations against the former NTA boss include fraudmisrepresentation andor dishonesty conflict of interest andor failure to declare a perceived conflict of interest to the NTA board gross negligence and exceeding authority. Insiders said the contract with China Jiangxi International for revamping Valombola VTC valued at N$58 million was called off.

Nangolo-Rukoro is also facing charges of fraudulently andor accepting in a dishonest manner back pay of N$260 249,80 with full knowledge that such back pay had not been approved by the board.

Documents in The Namibian’s possession indicate that the board agreed on July 2011 to pay the CEO and two general managers a 13th cheque as part of their total cost to company. The board also agreed to appoint a consultant to review the CEOs pay package.

The Namibian also has a letter dated 30 June 2011 addressed to the acting general manager for finance and administration that was signed by acting board chairperson Laurencia Stephanus authorising to increase Nangolo-Rukoro’s salary by N$273 000 per annum.

The letter in The Namibian’s possession shows that it was faxed from GIPF Keetmanshoop on 6 July 2011 at 14h04. Stephanus was employed at GIPF at the time.

Sources said the authenticity of the letter was also one of the contested issues at Nangolo-Rukoro’s disciplinary hearing. Regarding conflict of interest allegations, documents indicate that NTA’s lawyers Engling, Stritter and Partners, exonerated Nangolo-Rukoro regarding the appointment of a company with ties to her family.

“The fact that the CEO was not part of the tender process in terms of which Tuwilika Training Institute was appointed, the process cannot be faulted and the award should stand,” read the legal opinion, which went on to say that the fact that the CEO did not give notice about her relationship with Tuwilika Training Institute does not make the award unlawful or suspect.

The NTA has also been ordered by the office of the Labour Commissioner to pay out a portion of Nangolo-Rukoro’s benefits this week.

Nangolo-Rukoro’s hearing has been postponed to next year, and despite chairperson Otto Shikongo refuting reports that he was reluctant to testify in the case involving Nangolo-Rukoro, he is yet to testify although he was supposed to take the stand already in August.

Source : The Namibian