D-Day for NAC four

27 April 2018 Author   Sonja Smith

Four Namibian Airports Company (NAC) executives, who were suspended without any charge leveled against them last year, will face a moment of truth this Friday, following the recent conclusion of a forensic investigation by auditing firm Deloitte. Four Namibian Airports Company (NAC) executives, who were suspended without any charge leveled against them last year, will face a moment of truth this Friday, following the recent conclusion of a forensic investigation by auditing firm Deloitte. 

Commercial Services Manager Toska Sem, Human Resources Manager Josephine Soroses, Finance and Administration Manager Verengai Ruswa, and Human Resources Manager for Resourcing and Relations Albert Sibeya, have been on paid leave since they were suspended last October over unspecified transgressions. 
Their suspension came four months after the suspension of former CEO, Tamer El Kallawi, and the Strategic Executive of Projects: IT and Engineering, Courage Silombela, who faced up to 36 charges of corruption, bribery, fraud and dishonesty.


The two later resigned before a disciplinary hearing could take place.  


The Namibian reported in September that, three days after leaving office as the Namibia Airports Company’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Soroses had to explain to the board why she had signed off five questionable tenders.


Soreses acted as CEO for two months after the suspension of El-Kallawi, pending a corruption probe.
According to the report, the board asked Lot Haifidi, who succeeded Soroses, to ask her to explain how she had signed off five contracts – valued a combined N$1,1 million – between 11 August 2017 and 18 August 2017.
The contracts included hiring an economist to inform staff members about the state of the Namibian economy; training the human resources team; a supervisory skills training course; Microsoft Excel training; and a training session on how to chair disciplinary hearings.
NAC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Albertus Aochamub, told the Windhoek Observer on Wednesday that the airports company’s board and management are set to meet this Friday to discuss the outcome of the investigations.
“We just received the forensic report and that report makes specific recommendations. On Friday this week, the board will be briefed on the outcome of this investigation, about exactly what happened.
“They (the executives) are employees of the company, they have rights, and they will have fair hearings,” Aochamub said. 
He, however, could not be drawn to reveal the charges against the quartet and the recommendations by the investigators, arguing it was not fair to the suspended executives to make the charges and recommendations public.  
“Charges recommended on each one of them are different. I cannot provide the report to the media at the moment; it will not be fair to them (suspended executives) to read these things first in the media. They have the right to access such information first,” the former presidential spokesperson said.
In a March 23 interview with the State-owned daily, New Era, Aochamub was quoted as saying, there’s an opportunity to bring the suspended executives back. 
“We need to treat them with dignity because they are not criminals and are innocent until they are proven guilty. In the coming weeks, we’ll be dealing with this expeditiously.”
NAC sources, who spoke to the Windhoek Observer on condition of anonymity, claimed that the company had violated its own Employment Relations Policy, which states that employees should be charged within three months of suspension. 
According to the policy, all disciplinary cases should be disposed of within 90 days from the date the breach was officially brought to the attention of the NAC.
However, officials at the airports company said this period may be extended with the approval of the CEO, for cases where more time is required for complex investigations, where the breach occurred over a long period of time. 
It was not immediately clear whether the Human Resources Department had sought such an approval as required by the policy.

WINDHOEK OBSERVER

The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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