Are Mweti and Mayumbelo not politically correct CEO names

The mantra of “inclusivity” and “no one should feel left out” is fast becoming hot air rhetoric aimed at hoodwinking certain sections of the Namibian population into believing that they too are considered bona fide Namibians and not second-class citizens.

It is becoming clearer than daylight that Namibia has reached a stage where professional merit does not count anymore when it comes to recruitment of competent and suitable candidates.

For years we have pursued a segregationist and entitlement policy, basing employment recruitment on which region one comes from; whether one is related to anyone in the political or cabinet leadership; whether one is a yes-man/woman, who is willing to compromise professional acumen for puppetry, etc.

Revelations regarding the recruitment process of a CEO at the City of Windhoek are just drops in the ocean of entrenched nepotism where jobs are reserved for family, friends and cronies by those in influential positions.

The case of Agatha Mweti and George Mayumbelo, both victims of persistent nepotism, attests to the rampant dubious and underhanded recruitment practices in the country, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Instead of preaching “inclusivity”, it might be prudent that government comes clean and place an “exclusivity clause” in all employment adverts so that we are clear which jobs are reserved for second-class Namibians. The labour law should be amended to legalise the practice of categorising the employment of first-and second-class Namibians.

How else can one describe a situation where an individual with an impeccable professional track record and an arsenal of qualifications, who excels and comes top in an interview is overlooked and sidelined in favour of some demagogue?

No wonder that we have a multitude of incompetent senior civil servants and heads of parastatals, resulting in regular, nonstop cases as corruption. Once the recruitment process is flawed and corrupt, it is commonsensical that the corruptly ordained candidate will perpetuate the same corrupt practice once on the seat.

It should be borne in mind that people apply for positions they are qualified for in the belief that they will be availed an equal opportunity to fairly compete on merit. Therefore, using the recruitment process as a public relations charade where applicants are paraded to authenticate the process, while a candidate is already pre-determined is criminal, unfair and smacks of corruption.

What more should Mweti, Mayumbelo and many others, who are compartmentalised in the second-class Namibian citizenship category, do to land jobs that befit their professional experience and qualifications? Change their surnames, be adopted as step-children of some influential politicians, or look for employment outside the country where their competencies may be appreciated?

All of us have one country we call home and that is Namibia. We should be treated as equal citizens. In tandem with the entitlement slogan, let it be known that we also fought for this country. Yes we come from different backgrounds, speak different languages and bore the same brunt of colonial oppression, but at the end of it all we only have one national flag, one national anthem and one Namibia. Our diversity is what should make us a proud nation.

What Namibia requires are competent men and women to move our country forward. It is therefore important that employers and those in positions of power understand that unless employers take diversity seriously they will fail to recruit, retain and engage the required competencies needed to sustain and improve performance in our various industries.

Potential employees need to be protected against this form of discrimination. In the first instance it is always advisable to have a written policy covering the selection process. This should be provided to all interviewers and should cover the content of the job advertisement/selection procedures and the conduct of interviews.

Before a position is advertised, a pre-determined role profile should be drawn up establishing the criteria which the successful applicant must meet. The criteria must not be departed from when assessing candidates, and should not compromise elements that are considered necessary for the successful performance of that post.

Selection should be done in accordance with the original set criteria and not on the basis of any information in the CV, which might be said to relate to any of the protected characteristics. Employers need to ensure that discriminatory measures are not used at the recruitment stage. Changing rules during or after selection or interviews should never ever be acceptable.

Let Namibians be appointed on merit through a transparent recruitment procedure. All Namibians deserve equal access to jobs, services, education and other opportunities. In case of failure to do this, please kindly and clearly state in the job advertisement that Namibians from certain parts of the country may not be considered for the advertised position. It will save you time and money.