Backlash over government official’s appointment to council

The appointment of Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation executive director Alfred van Kent onto the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) interim council has been met with a backlash, writes Kelvin Chiringa for The Namibian.

Several voices have raised concern over Van Kent’s suitability to help steer the university in the interim, given his proximity to higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi. Van Kent has also been criticised for having done little to deal with controversies and divisions within the previous council. The same council has been accused of having failed to institute an investigation into administrative corruption allegations at the institution. The interim council has been appointed by Kandjii-Murangi, who is currently embroiled in a subsistence and travel allowance saga which has pitted her against University of Namibia (Unam) lecturer Job Amupanda.

South West Africa People’s Organisation party central committee member and deputy secretary for education Hofni Iipinge has cast doubt over the inclusion of Van Kent. “You cannot take someone from the same ministry and put him in that interim council. Is there anything that they want to hide from the public, because Dr Van Kent is already part of the ministry of higher education?”
Full report on The Namibian site