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Engineering council faces demands to reinstate registrar

The legal representatives of the suspended registrar of the Engineering Council of Namibia, Charles Mukwaso, are demanding that he assume his duties at the council.

This was requested in a letter lawyer Dirk Conradie addressed to the chairperson of the counci, Sophie Tekie.

“ . . . as your actions of prohibiting him from assuming his duties are unlawful, as such purported suspension is ab initio [from the start] void,” Conradie wrote.

He said the council suspended Mukwaso on 31 May, without complying with the rules of natural justice, and with regards to fabricated evidence, which is the subject matter of a criminal case.

“The council, as constituted by the present members, is not lawfully constituted, and the terms of the office – bearers are consequently unlawful and of no effect in that they did not assume office in terms of Section 3(5) of the Engineering Act No 18 of 1986,” Conradie said.

He said Tekie is fully aware that there was no appointment, and the council therefore has no right to discipline Mukwaso, and therefore his suspension is unlawful.

Meanwhile, the Namibian Society of Engineers (Nase) has strongly denounced the suspension of Mukwaso, saying it was based on fabricated accusations.

In a recent statement, Nase expressed disappointment and condemned Mukwaso’s suspension.

They praised his contributions to engineering in Namibia.

“Mr Mukwaso has been an exceptional voice for the engineering profession in Namibia, demonstrating unwavering commitment and selflessness in his service to other engineers in the country,” the statement reads. The engineering society says Mukwaso has contributed to it in terms of his innovative and transformational achievements at the council amid challenges, limited resources, and inadequate support.

The statement says his efforts have been invaluable in advancing the interests of engineers, which is currently far removed from when the counci operated like an exclusive club of “elites rooting to have him gone today”.

“The people working against him today are even relying on systems brought about by his mind to circulate unreliable information about him,” the statement reads.

It further says accusations against Mukwaso are untrue and it is possible that illegal activities were involved in creating them.

“We are aware that a criminal case has been opened in connection with this against a certain individual who is currently single-handedly running and directing the operations of the counci, and the matter is under investigation by the Namibian Police,” the statement reads. In Nase’s view, the current events are desperate attempts to silence Mukwaso and divert attention from unfolding events.

Tekie yesterday confirmed the council in an extraordinary meeting held on 31 May resolved to temporarily suspend Mukwaso with full pay, pending the investigation.

She said a finding has not been made, and therefore Mukwaso’s temporary suspension is not a punishment.

“It is, however , the council’s bona fide belief that the temporary suspension is necessary in order to properly investigate the complaints levelled against the registrar,” Tekie said.