Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, has confirmed that he was not consulted in the appointment of the Director of Industrial Development, Petrina Nakale, to the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) as a representative of his ministry.
This comes after a WBCG announcement last week that they have appointed three new board members, including Nakale.
WBCG Board Chairman, Bisey Uirab, justified the appointment of the new members by saying that multiplicity on company boards is important to sustain performance. “Broadening the composition of the board helps expand member perspectives,” he said.
Nakale joins Susan Beukes from the Ministry of Finance and Riaan Lottering from the Walvis Bay Port Users Association (WBPUA) as the new members on the WBCGBoard.
A well-placed government source has said the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Gabriel Sinimbo, appointed Nakale to serve on the board without the minister’s endorsement or advance notification.
Procedurally, the final appointment of an official ministry representative on any board of directors is supposed to be done by the line minister who would then table the names of those recommended in Cabinet. This was not done in the case of Nakale.
“It is only Sinimbo who appointed her; going against all procedures. In government, all board appointments are submitted by the minister responsible to Cabinet, not the permanent secretary alone,” the source said.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer, Ngatjizeko said that procedurally, he is required to endorse the recommended names but was never informed nor was he aware of Nakale’s appointment to the WBCGBoard.
“I was not consulted or informed. This is new to me, when did the appointment take place?
“There should be a Cabinet submission endorsed and which I am supposed to sign and I have not done that. I did not appoint her,” Ngatjizeko said.
Nakale is one of the three government officials who spearheaded the controversial SME Bank, which is now going through hard times due to millions of dollarslost through questionable ‘investments’out of the country.
As one of the board members of the trust (Namibia Financing Trust Pty) that holds government shares in the SME Bank, she earned board fees amounting to N$380,000during the 2011-2015 period.
Contacted for comment, Sinimbo said Nakale is not a board member, but is his proxy, implying that the board seat is his.
“I am a member of the board of NDC and if I cannot attend, I can delegate someone to be my proxy.So, it is the same scenario. And I cannot talk to you any further, I have other engagements to attend to,”Sinimbo said before he hung up the phone.
Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa, refused to be drawn into the details.
“If the name was approved, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology would announce it, every decision made by Cabinet is announced by the minister,”Simataa said.