…as Namcor’s retail dream hits rock bottom
Namcor’s managing director, Immanuel Mulunga, has been splurging on jobs for pals at the public oil parastatal, in what seems to be a case of nepotism.
It has now turned out that the 10 workers who were recently suspended by the board were recruited by Mulunga without job advertisements or interviews as well as endorsement by the company’s human resource department.
Mulunga, however indicated that he did not appoint the 10 workers when approached this week for clarification, saying he only signed off their contracts as MD.
He also denied claims that he has been the link between companies when it comes to tender awarding after it emerged that a company he visited in Malaysia earlier this year scored a lucrative tender last week.
Mulunga, one of the youngest SOE bosses in the country, remains steadfast that no procedures were bypassed during any tender awarding processes.
The revelations of potential nepotism come at a time when claims within the public sector are rife as well as a situation whereby getting a job is about “” who you know instead of what you know”.
The 10 workers are said to be costing Namcor at least N$360 000 in salaries monthly.
Among the appointments to the company are individuals have been hired as secretaries, consultants and advisors. The other employees are in other departments such as finance as well as health and safety.
A frustrated official in the company said the 10 staffers are similar to President Hage Geingob’s ‘A-Team’ and they have usurped the powers of Namcor’s substantive executive members.
While the staff members have burgeoned, The Patriot has learnt that the appointments were not sanctioned by the board.
Namcor sources indicated that a few months back Mulunga requested the board for additional staff so that they could effectively penetrate the domestic fuel retail market. According to the HR policy he must have board approval. Because the new positions are not part of the approved structure, the board asked him to make a submission to the HR Board Committee so the positions can be approved.
Mulunga went ahead and made the appointments unprocedurally.
The board allegedly only found out when other staff members started complaining because they were ordered to hand over some of their duties to the “A-Team” members.
The 10 were apparently appointed on a one-year fixed contract.
“He head-hunted, interviewed and made them salary offers despite the company having a fully-fledged HR department. The board then stepped in and Mulunga shifted the blame squarely to Maryke Krohne (Executive: Human Capital & Strategic Development),” said a source. According to the source, when the board intervened and demanded that the 10 staffers be relieved, Mulunga pleaded for them to be retained on ‘humanitarian grounds’. The board flatly declined this on the basis that these appointments were unlawful. There are also further claims that Mulunga sits on the company’s bid committee and procurement board. Mulunga and Daisy Ndjavera (consultant) went to Malaysia earlier this year on an educational trip at the invitation of a firm called Hyrax Oil.
Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd is a Malaysian company based in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia that deals with the manufacturing of transformer oil and other petroleum derivatives.
“Mulunga awarded a tender to that company. He drafted the tender document himself. If he denies it, there is even an email trail showing that he interfered in the tender process.
Between him and the procurement committee they awarded the tender last week, said a well-placed source.” Ndjavera came to Namcor in 2016 and when her contract expired in 2017, it was extended.
“She negotiated a contract with a Walvis Bay firm called Flowvin Investment Group and then offered them marine gas oil at the price of heavy fuel oil. She was asked to rectify it because the company was losing huge amounts of money,” said a company source. “When probed, she eventually said she got confused between the two and the situation has not been rectified till now.” the source said.
An official statement seen by this newspaper indicates that by 30 November 2017 Namcor owed Flowvin N$4.7 million.
“NAMCOR has a policy on the appointment of temporary employees and fixed term employees, that I found here and was used through the years to appoint such people. I did not appoint all 10 people directly but I have signed off the contracts as MD. I have directly appointed 2 temporary to come help with new business development and to improve our lubricant sales. These are specialist in their fields appointed on 12 month’s contract do a specific job.
The only mistake our HR department has been making was to label some of the contracts as Fixed Term Employees instead of Temporary employees,” he said.
For temporary employees, explained Mulunga, you can head hunt people while for fixed term employees you have to advertise.
“Although their contracts were titled fixed term employees they were in actual fact temporary employees for all intents and purposes. The one person I appointed I didn’t know before while the second one I appointed, I know from the industry.
I’m not friends with any of the people appointed as temporary workers. Again I did not introduce this policy and practice, I found it here and people were appointed under the policy before I joined,” he said while responding to questions posed to him.
Mulunga acknowledged that he had undertaken a trip to Malaysia after an invitation from the company to visit their operations.
“I did not go alone but with other two NAMCOR senior employees, one who is a member of the Procurement Committee.
Although the company declared their interest to do business with NAMCOR they were told that a process of procurement will have to be followed. A restrictive bidding exercise was undertaken where many companies were invited and the Tender process took place via our bid evaluation committee and procurement committee.
I’m not a member of either these structures and they made their recommendations without my involvement or influence,” he said. Mulunga said the process has been detailed and minutes were taken for all to see. Regarding Flowvin, Mulunga said there is no reason that he can be linked to the company. “I am aware of Flowvin company, we sell petroleum products to them, there’s no reason I can be linked to them, the only relationship we have with them is that of customer-client. Another dark spot is the relationship between Mulunga and Cedric Willemse. Willemse is part of the Flowwin group and is said to be an associate of Mulunga. Mr Cedric Willemse used to work for NAMCOR as a consultant but his contract was also terminated by the Board without reason at the beginning of this year,” he said.
Flowvin buys fuel from NAMCOR for export to Zambia and Botswana and according to insiders enjoy enormous benefits in the form of rebates. The board declined to comment on the matter due to its sensitive nature.
Public Enterprise Minister Leon Jooste said the ministry regards the suspension of a Managing Director or CEO of a Public Enterprise as an extreme measure which should only be condoned under exceptional circumstances based on strong evidence. “In this case we have requested further information which will be considered and I will only be able to pronounce myself once we have received this. Our core principle is that we will always act in the best interest of the entities and never that of an individual or a group of individuals,” he said.