The Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) board of directors has fired the Authority’s chief executive officer Ndione Chauluka following a disciplinary hearing relating to the handling of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Tevet and a project.
Teveta had initially suspended Chauluka alongside director of training Modesto Gomani, head of funding Joseph Kampondeni and director of finance Elwin Sichiola on allegations of financing the Tsogolo Langa Project in Neno to the tune of K2.9 billion without the board’s approval.
However, the board later clarified in an interview with The Nation on Sunday of March 26 2017 that the figure under investigation was not K2.9 billion as previously quoted, but K238 million, which was illegally being drawn from a community colleges fund.
Chauluka’s dismissal follows recommendations of a disciplinary panel which heard the matter after investigations revealed some funds had been abused at the institution.
A dismissal letter dated April 24 2017 signed by Teveta board chairperson Gilbert Chilinde seen by The Nation, indicates the board dismissed Chauluka after seeking ministerial approval on the decision.
The letter says at its 32nd extraordinary meeting held on April 19 2017, Teveta board discussed and endorsed the disciplinary team’s recommendations before seeking ministerial approval as required under Section 18(5) of the Tevet Act.
According to the letter, the panel unanimously pronounced that Chauluka committed a serious misconduct and gross failure to execute his contractual obligations with requisite leadership capability which was against section 4.3(ii) of his employment contract.
Reads part of the letter: “The board was further satisfied with its own process in which you were fairly served with the charges, you responded to the charges in writing, you were given adequate notice of enquiry and was heard by an independent disciplinary panel.”
The board said it was its view that the resolution was in tandem with section 59 of the Employment Act of 2000, section 9.4 of Teveta staff terms and conditions of service and his employment contract which he entered with the authority on October 1 2014.
The board said Chauluka is free to appeal to appropriate authorities guided by relevant legislation on the employment matter should he feel aggrieved by the decision.
When contacted last evening, Chilinde said the board would make a statement on the matter shortly.
He said: “These are legal matters so you don’t jump guns and do things, so I am asking that you wait for that time, the official communication will be published by the board shortly.”
However, Chauluka said he had no problem with the board’s decision to relieve him of his duties.
“They have made a decision and I go by that decision,” he said in a brief interview, adding it was difficult to immediately make a decision on whether he would appeal or not.
Investigations allegedly revealed that the Authority was funding the said project without the board’s approval and the funds were also being diverted away from the project.
The board chairperson also said the director of finance was later cleared of wrongdoing.
Chauluka was hired on October 1 2014. n