Former NamPower Managing Director, Paulinus Shilamba, has walked away with a N$2 million golden handshake, despite leaving the power utility amid allegations of corruption, involving an inflated tender in which the company paid N$30 million for a N$2 million project.
The Windhoek Observer is reliably informed that the NamPower board approved Shilamba’s payout last week, following a letter of demand.
The previous board, led by Maria Nakale, had declined to pay Shilamba a golden handshake following his unceremonious exit in 2015.
Shilamba was suspended in July, 2015, a year before his second five-year contract with the parastatal was supposed to come to an end.
He was suspended alongside NamPower’s former Chief Technical Services Officer, O’Brien Hekandjo and former Senior Manager for Energy Trading, Werner Graupe.
The trio’s suspension came after an investigation by Saunderson and Company (SC) auditing firm implicated them in the awarding of a N$30 million tender contract that was only supposed to cost N$ 2 million.
The tender was awarded to KMPG Consortium to provide commercial and technical advisory services to NamPower related to the controversial Xaris Energy deal.
Sources said Graupe remains on the parastatal’s payroll, while Hekandjo’s contract with the company came to an end.
Shilamba, Hekandjo and Graupe took NamPower to the Labour Court last year for victimisation, a case which is still pending.
Contacted for comment, NamPower board Chairperson, Kauna Ndilula, refused to comment on Shilamba’s exit package, citing confidentiality.
“I think that employees’ matters should be confidential and should not be discussed in the media, so I cannot deny or confirm (Shilamba’s exit package),”Ndilula said.
The parastatal’s Manager of Corporate Communication & Marketing, Tangeni Kambangula, also refused to confirm or deny the payout.
She said the parastatal will not give details of current or former employees because of confidentiality.
“NamPower and its employees (former or current) are subject to confidentiality provisions with regards to all matters concerning employer – employee relations, including aspects relating to remuneration.
“Please be advised that the 5-year employment contracts of Mr Shilamba and Mr Hekandjo have come to an end due to effluxion of time and any action taken by the parties have been within the scope of the employment contracts.
“Graupe is a NamPower employee and his labour matter is ongoing. NamPower cannot provide any response to questions on the ongoing labour matter as the matter is sub judice. And in addition, as previously articulated, any matter pertaining to the employer-employee relationship is confidential,”Kambangula said.
A NamPower official told the Windhoek Observer that Shilamba had been paid a golden handshake last week, after writing letters to NamPower’s management demanding a payout, after serving as MD for 9 and half years.
“The new board has agreed to pay Shilamba. He got N$2m last week. It was a golden handshake which the previous board withheld and did not want to give him,”the source said.
Shilamba refused to entertain any questions from the Windhoek Observer.
“I will choose not to discuss this matter with you, I don’t want to comment, it is my Constitutional right not to say anything,”Shilamba said.
Public Enterprise Minister, Leone Jooste said he was not aware of the golden handshake to Shilamba.