Namibia Housing Enterprise’s(NHE) senior manager for technical services and property management Uazuva Kaumbi has officially resigned from the housing entity, The Patriot can reveal.
Kaumbi confirmed his resignation this week. They however claim that it came as no surprise seeing that the relationship between Kaumbi and the company was strained from its genesis after he dragged the company to court when he failed to land the NHE top seat last year.
In an interview this week, Kaumbi said his resignation was prompted by plans to further his career and that it has nothing to do with the squabbles that made headlines last year.
“There is no hard feelings, I feel I did what I could for NHE and it is time to move on now. This move has been long coming but I felt I had to finalise some issues before I leave,” said the 54-year-old.
Kaumbi, who joined NHE in September 2007, lauded government for initiating the Mass Housing Development Programme despite “the challenges it faced”.
“Over the years we managed to convince Government capitalize NHE because it was the only way through which we could cater for the low-income segment of our country. Through our lobbying we managed to put housing on the national agenda and we have proven that housing is the engine of economic growth,” he said.
He had close relations with former NHE boss Vincent Hailulu. Kaumbi is highly respected and takes with him years of institutional memory when he leaves NHE at the end of this month.
All was not rosy for Kaumbi at NHE however, he is part of the NHE management team that failed to successfully implement government’s ambitious N$45 billion Mass Housing Development Program between 2013 and 2016.
The programme has since been stripped from NHE after wide-ranging of allegations related to tender irregularities and poor project management.
Gisbertus Mukulu’s appointment last year as CEO was subject to an avalanche of criticism, which landed him and his employer in court in a bid to halt his appointment.
The matter was taken to court by Kaumbi who also competed for the company’s top position.
After that, fears that Mukulu and Kaumbi might not get along when he was appointed surfaced, seeing that he dragged NHE to court on matters pertaining to Mukulu’s appointment.
Kaumbi this week indicated that contrary to popular belief, the working relationship between himself and Mukulu has been sound.
Kaumbi challenged the company’s decision to prevent internal candidates from applying for the CEO post. The two were also unhappy after the board decided last year that no internal candidate would be allowed to apply for the CEO position.
In an interview with this publication last year, Mukulu indicated that “a cordial relationship exists between them[himself and Kaumbi]”.
“The situation is fine, we have a cordial relationship and we are operating in a good manner. But as you know that is not the reason why I was appointed….complaints are normal,” he said at the time.
NHE last year won in court after it was indicted by, Kaumbi, in his bid to halt the appointment of Mukulu. The case is now with the Labour Court.
Sources at NHE say the working relationship between the company and Kaumbi was strained to the core following the court saga.
Kaumbi was among the 16 candidates that vied to succeed Hailulu. None of the 16 made it, the company then opted to headhunt Mukulu.
The Patriot last year reported about the hard time Elton Gaoseb faced when he acted as CEO, Kaumbi was flagged as one of the culprits.
Gaoseb who served as the acting CEO when Hailulu left in 2015 has been at loggerheads with Kaumbi during his tenure as acting CEO, and official documents seen by The Patriot exposes the poor relationship that existed between them.
On 6 June 2016 Gaoseb axed Kaumbi and Willem Titus from NHE’s Task Team Committee after they allegedly refused to participate in the programme of handing over completed houses built under the Mass Housing programme.
Gaoseb reprimanded Kaumbi for allegedly failing to comply with instructions after he[Kaumbi] failed to be part of some meetings.
“This behavior is considered as unprofessional and tantamount to insubordination. Employees are expected to adhere to the directives of the supervisors,” wrote Gaoseb in a letter dated 7 June 2016 addressed to Kaumbi.
Gaoseb said Kaumbi’s insubordination makes it difficult for management to carry out leadership responsibilities.
“Your repeated repudiation of your supervisor’s authority distracts and undermines the employee-employer relationship.
Further your conduct and behavior is judged to be inappropriate and unacceptable in that you have displayed unnecessarily confrontational actions,” said Gaoseb in the reprimand letter.