Former Social Security Commission (SSC) Chief Executive, Kenandei Tjivikua, is said to be the board’s favourite to become the next Chief Executive Officer of State-owned daily New Era,
the Windhoek Observer has established.
The New Era board led by Esau Mbako has since 20 February been looking for a suitable candidate to take up the position of CEO, which will become vacant next month when out-of-favour Audrin Mathe’s five-year term comes to an end.
The deadline for applications was 2 March.
Sources familiar with the recruitment process told the Windhoek Observer this week that Tjivikua, who left the Social Security Commission in December 2012 after he was initially suspended for alleged insubordination after he refused to buy luxury Apple iPad tablets for 10 commissioners, has emerged as the board’s favourite to replace Mathe.
Tjivikua refused comment when approached by the Windhoek Observer.
“I have no comment to all questions,” he said when asked about whether he had applied for the position or if he is aware that he had been shortlisted.
NSFAF company secretary Wise Immanuel, a senior nbc employee and a Namfisa executive are also said to be running for the New Era CEO position.
Immanuel told the Windhoek Observer that he is surprised to hear that his CV ended up at New Era.
“I did not apply for the position at New Era. For the past ten years I have been applying through an agent and perhaps they sent my CV to them. Other than that, I have nothing to give you, call New Era,” Immanuel said.
Mbako said his board will make an official announcement on the matter once it has been completed.
“I do not discuss personnel matters in the public. This recruitment process involves contracts and so on. We will make an announcement once we are done,” Mbako, who also serves as executive assistant to the finance minister, said.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa, also said he cannot comment as the recruitment process was still ongoing.
“Try getting all that from the board chair, the matter has not reached the position where it is with me yet,” Simataa said.
Sources further told the Windhoek Observer that the recruitment process could run into legal trouble as Mathe is said to be contemplating challenging the whole process after he was not shortlisted for the position he currently holds.
Mathe is said to have asked the independent search committee chairman, Kaijata Kangueehi, why his name was not amongst the shortlisted candidates, to which Kangueehi explained that he had not received his job application.
Mathe, the sources claimed, emailed his job application, but it was never received by the independent search committee chairman.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, Kangueehi said he had submitted a comprehensive report on the issue to the board a week ago.
“We wrote a comprehensive report on this to the board a week ago in which we explained everything and this matter (Mathe’s complaint) is part of that report,” Kangueehi said.
Sources also claim that Mathe has been out-of-favour with the board over his management style.
His management was dragged before the public accounts committee in November last year for a hearing to answer queries raised in the auditor-general’s report on the company’s finances.
In the report, the AG revealed there was no supporting documentation, bank reconciliations, credit balances and operational revenues of NEPC.
Mathe did not confirm or deny applying for the position, adding that “The board chair knows who applied and who didn’t, please talk to him about it. I can’t say anything.”
The outgoing CEO was appointed in 2013, and his contract ends in April 2018.
Before joining New Era, Mathe headed the news and programming department at nbc. Previously, he worked as spokesperson for the Roads Authority (RA).
Public Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste, said he will not involve himself in the recruitment processes since it is the responsibility of the board.