Saturday 6 March 2021
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Air Namibia still flying without a captain

The national airline continues to operate without a substantial head since 2014.
The Patriot has it on good grounds that the Air Namibia Board in August 2017 submitted a recommendation for Cabinet to endorse incumbent acting managing director Mandi Samson as the new MD.

Since then, Cabinet has not acted on the recommendation.
Board chair Gerson Tjihenuna confirmed the details this week in a telephonic interview.

“We made the recommendation and the acting MD was the successful candidate so we recommended for her to get the nod,” Tjihenuna said briefly. He said the Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus !Naruseb promised to give the board feedback on the recommendation to approve Samson’s appointment, but a response has not been forthcoming at this point.

The board also stands accused of not making any formal announcement to staff members regarding the extension of Samson’s acting stint which ended in August 2017.
“I cannot remember off the cuff whether that was done, but what I know is that there was an extension pending the approval of her appointment,” he said.

Tjihenuna said the board is satisfied with Samson’s work, hence the recommendation for her appointment.
The last time Air Namibia had a substantive MD was in 2014. Then Managing Director, Theopoltina Namases, was suspended on 16 June 2014. The airline’s former Chief Operations Officer Rene Gsponer acted for a year before he was replaced by Samson.

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