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Stop It! –Nandi-Ndaitwah lashes at ‘lazy’ executives

Written by on July 4, 2024

Vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has lashed out at unnamed top executives of poor-performing state-owned enterprises for lazing around and shifting blame for their failures.

Nandi-Ndaitwah was addressing the Public Enterprises Chief Executives’ Forum, which met yesterday at Nipam.

“We have so many plans, we have so many policies, but colleagues, some of us are not up for the task.

“You applied for the job in order to do the job and this attitude, comrades, is not in the interest of our people,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

Yesterday’s forum delved into the critical development role of public entities in the transportation infrastructure industry.

It also discussed issues of adopting strategies to attain food security as well as the outlook of corporate governance in the public enterprises landscape.

Fluksman Samuehl

The chairperson of the Forum, Fluksman Samuehl, said although state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have made some improvements, boardroom wars in some have tainted their public image.

A range of SOEs failed to submit their audited financial records and realise their turnaround strategies, despite numerous interventions by government bailouts.

Last June, New Era reported that defence company August 26 Holdings, which has consistently refused to account for public funds, was mired in a scandal after N$3 million failed to be accounted for.

By October, The Namibian reported that a disciplinary hearing found suspended August 26 logistics managing director Salatiel Ntinda and the company’s finance manager, Karel Nel, guilty of paying N$2,5 million of taxpayers’ funds to a private entity without authorisation.

Procurement irregularities have been flagged at the ailing TransNamib following an Ernst & Young report which highlighted serious governance and management malpractices.

The report, which was passed from former public enterprises minister Leon Jooste to finance and public enterprises minister Iipumbu Shiimi, was not acted upon, according to the Procurement Tracker of the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Air Namibia found itself under the hammer on 26 March 2021, after its loss-making record became a burden for the government fiscus.

With an asset value of N$1,04 billion and liabilities amounting to nearly N$5,4 billion, the airline owed N$714 million to the Namibia Airports Company in outstanding aeronautical and ground handling charges.

Another SOE that lingered under the guillotine is the Roads Contractor Company (RCC), which was placed under a rescue plan.

The fate of RCC remains uncertain.

“We are asked to serve and represent, but some boardrooms have been turned into war zones,” he said.

Samuehl said some fights have culminated in extended suspensions for chief executives, creating leadership vacuums.

“We have ourselves to blame,” he said, adding that service delivery has consequently suffered.

Frederico Links


IPPR associate researcher Frederico Links says it is not easy to blame Shiimi for having achieved nearly zero results in turning these entities around.

“Leon Jooste did not do anything in the years he was a minister. He basically passed a law. . . These issues precede Jooste and Shiimi. I do not believe there is political will to really orchestrate a shakeup,” he says.

Links says although the best move would be to hand some of them to the private sector, the current government is not ready to relinquish its power over a majority of the parastatals.

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