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Unam’s case against Pomuti flops

06 March 2015 Author  

front UNAM  06 marchSuspended University of Namibia’s Director for the University Central Consultancy Bureau (UCCB) Akiser Pomuti will likely be reinstated in his position after investigations into his alleged misconduct fell flat. Pomuti was suspended by the university in June last year, just five days before the suspension of Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Boniface Mutumba.

 

For the past eight months, the university has investigated claims of misappropriation of funds and corruption against Pomuti, but it appears it has struggled to substantiate the charges because of a lack of evidence.

Sources close to the Unam administration said all but one of the witness called to testify in Pomuti’s case over the past few months had declined to give evidence, and avoided any involvement in the disciplinary hearing.

“So far only the chief investigator has testified, which leaves the committee with very little to work with.

“I understand some weeks back Pomuti’s lawyers also wrote to the university’s lawyers requesting his reinstatement, and that Unam should issue a press statement to clear his name,” the source said.

In response, Unam lawyers are said to have written to the UCCB director’s legal counsel proposing that he resign from his position in exchange for compensation.

“There are people here who want him gone and they have even tried to offer a golden handshake, but Pomuti is adamant about coming back,” a source said.

For the past two weeks, speculation has been rife on campus that Pomuti has been acquitted on all charges.

However, Unam Public Relations Officer John Haufiku said such claims were false.

“The hearing is ongoing therefore nothing has been concluded and the same can be said about our internal disciplinary procedure concerning Boniface Mutumba,” Haufiku said.

Mutumba, unlike Pomuti who is a permanent staff member, is on a five-year contract with the University of Namibia, which apparently ends in June this year.

“They will probably just drag this whole thing out until his contract has expired. Unlike Pomuti, he doesn’t have much support from the top,” a source added.

Haufiku refused to comment on the status of the hearing, or to confirm that only one witness had testified in Pomuti’s hearing in the last eight months

Contacted for comment Pomuti said that he was still in consultation with his lawyers about his suspension, and could therefore not comment on the matter until it had been finalised.
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