Diescho overlooked for UNAM top post

15 June 2018 Author   Kaula Nhongo
Leading academic and fierce Hage Geingob critic, Professor Joseph Diescho, has been overlooked for the University of Namibia (UNAM) Vice Chancellor position,
which will soon become vacant.
Diescho told the Windhoek Observer this week that he did not even receive a letter of acknowledgement after he applied for the UNAM top post.
The former NIPAM executive director will not be part of the shortlisted candidates who will make public presentations next week Friday.
“I would have expected acknowledgement, but as it stands I do not have any idea as to what is going on,” Diescho said when contacted by the Windhoek Observer.
There has been no official comment on the shortlisted candidates, but the Windhoek Observer understands that UNAM Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, Associate Professor Kenneth Matengu; Pro-Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Educational Foundations and Management Associate Proffessor Elizabeth Amukugo and the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor Frednard Gideon as well as a South African national whose name was not revealed, are in the running for the UNAM post.
Although Diescho has not received any feedback, he still feels that he is the right man for the job.
“It will be difficult to argue that I do not qualify on the basis of merit. I do not know the criteria that they used, but based on merit, I know I am more than qualified,” he said.
As part of the requirements requested for the top job, the candidate needed to be in possession of a Ph.D or equivalent from an internationally recognized university.
The candidate also needed to have a high level of scholarly maturity, preferably at the rank of Full Professor while they should have a solid foundation in the academia with exemplary working experience in university administration and at least six years’ experience at a senior leadership level.
Diescho was the Executive Director of the NIPAM from 1 July 2013 until December 2015 when he was dismissed.
The successful candidate will take over from Professor Lazarus Hangula, who is retiring in August after spending 14 years at the helm of the higher education institute.
Hangula’s term was supposed to end in June 2016, but was extended for a further two years “to avoid a leadership vacuum”.
In a previous article carried by this newspaper, a UNAM source claimed that Gideon, who has been acting as vice chancellor in Hangula’s absence, was being groomed for the prestigious position.
“Lately, Frednard has been the one acting every time Professor Hangula is not around. Talks are that he is being groomed for Hangula’s position,” the source previously said.
UNAM Public Relations Officer, Simon Namesho, said he does not have the names of the candidates who will take part in the public presentations next week.
The president appoints the vice chancellor, but on recommendation and advice from the UNAM Council.


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.

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