Unam lecturer paid for not working

08 August 2013 Author   Keith Vries

front unam 09 augTHE University of Namibia has reportedly been paying delict lecturer Lot Haifidi a full salary, whilst aware that Haifidi only taught two classes the entire year. Student at the university claimed that they have no assessment for the work that they did in the first trimester of year.

“He has not given us any tests or assignment to do, so we have no assessment marks right now” one student said.

Meanwhile, when approached for comment Haifidi also confirmed that he had not yet not evaluated and assessed students for the work taught during the year.

“Assessments were, however, due to be given last Friday, 2 August 2013, until I was tipped off by one of the students that a clique in the Law of Delict class is desirous to have a myriad of falsehoods about me published in the media,” he said.

 

In his own defence, Haifidi stated that he did not receive payment for lecturing at the university, and added that the underlying motive behind his pro-bono lecturers were “premised on pure enthusiasm and passion to assist students and the University”.

This claim could not be confirmed with the faculty, because it retreated into silence when approached for comment on the matter.

He denied allegations that he had claimed or asked for payment for the services he rendered at the university as a lecturer, and added that he had evidence to prove that.

Head of Department of Private and Procedural Law of the faculty. The HOD, Angelique Zender, initially seemed willing to answer questions surrounding the allegations but later declined to comment on the matter.

The same day the newspaper started making enquiries about the allegations against the lecturer, a source at the university disclosed that Haifidi had resigned with immediate effect.

According to the resignation letter, which the Windhoek Observer has in its possession, Haifidi resigned on racial grounds.

In the letter, Haifidi referred to a group of ‘coloured and white students’ whom he claimed seemed to have a racial agenda geared toward having him fired.

He said that he could no longer work under those circumstances and hence had submitted his resignation letter dated 7 August 2013, to the faculty to law.

“The students in the part-time class would not share the sentiments expressed by the said clique in the full-time class as such allegations are in essence maliciously untruthful and defamatory,” he went on to say.

Haifidi reiterated that he based his primary motive for resigning on alleged racial tensions created by a racist group of students.

“I thus deemed it appropriate to resign as I do not perceive how I am going to meaningfully liaise with students who have malicious agendas with unbecoming and objectionable racial prejudices,” he stated.

The Observer called the Dean of the Law Faculty, John Baloro, for comment on the sudden resignation of Haifidi.

Baloro nervously gave the assurance that the university was dealing with the matter and that everything was in order before slamming down the phone.

With regard to his sudden resignation when question were raised about his alleged absenteeism, Haifidi like Zender said he could not comment because only the university could comment on the issue.

On Thursday this week however, Haifidi had a change of heart, perhaps realising that the allegations made against him were serious, and for the first time agreed to answer the questions he had evaded the whole week.

He said that the allegations that he had only taught two classes are not true, and that “lectures were given until Section D of the Law of Delict Course Outline” to which he attached a course outline for reference.

He further stated, “There is not an iota of factual authenticity and veracity in this allegation, and I take strong objection thereto”.

“Sight should not be lost of the fact that these allegations are not made collectively by all Law of Delict students. The allegations are orchestrated by, without racial or ethnic prejudice on my part, a clique of a few white and coloured students in the full-time Law of Delict class,” he said.

According the Facebook group where UNAM law students communicate about academic affair Zender allegedly walked out on a class where students raised the issue of Haifidi’s alleged incompetence as a lecturer.

The students called the meeting in an attempt to resolve the crisis surrounding their academic future but it brought little comfort for the students, with Zender walking out on the students.

“Students had to cut their holidays short because Haifidi didn’t do his job. We are tired of lecturers having their way with student affairs.

“The worst part is that it feels like we first have to run to the media to have concerns of this nature addressed because of the likes of Zender and Baloro. We are tired of the wayward manner in which student concerns are treated at this university,” an aggrieved student said.

Zender further declined any comment on the allegations made against her and the faculty.

The only comment she made was “We [the law faculty] cannot respond, since we don’t have the mandate to do so” and then went on to say, “I am really sorry for any inconvenience the delay may have caused”.

The university refused to answer the questions about whether or not Haifidi had received payment to teach students, but clear discrepancies seem to exist between what Haifidi said and what the students said.

Students further allege that Haifidi, who also taught English for Law for first year law students in 2011, had committed similar transgressions while teaching English.

According to some students, Haifidi allegedly either lost or misplaced the marks of students for the year-end examination.

Students that were already on holiday by the time that the university was supposed to issue their marks were surprised when they saw that all of them had failed English.

When they enquired into the matter, the university informed students that they would have to return from holiday prematurely to come and re-write the examination that they had already written, allegedly due to Haifidi’s negligence.

Haifidi meanwhile maintains, “It is untruthful to suggest that I do not do my job.”

His full-time third year students called an emergency meeting on Thursday this week to discuss Haifidi’s resignation.

The students seemed determined not to let the matter rest and pushed to have the university lay a ‘breach of contract’ charge against Haifidi.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WINDHOEK OBSERVER

The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

Contact Us

Windhoek Observer House
c/o John Meinert & Rossini Street
Windhoek West
Namibia
Tel: +264 61 411 800
Fax: +264 61 226 098
www.observer.com.na