Top Namcor officials have spilt the beans on how Immanuel Mulunga secretly uses his powers to employ staff while circumventing the company’s recruitment policies.
The Patriot can reveal that 12 of the 16 employees in Namcor’s Commercial Business Unit have instituted a formal grievance against the oil firm’s under fire MD.
Sensitive documents seen by this newspaper indicate that the grievance was filed with the company’s board on 18 December 2017.
The grievance has been interpreted as the beginning of the clean-up process following claims that the company’s procurement system is highly susceptible to manipulation by those in power.
The staff told the board that they are experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction, injustice or unfair practice, ill treatment and unhappiness relating to working conditions as a result of the actions of Mulunga.
The grievance comes at a time when the company has instituted a forensic investigation to determine whether corruption and mismanagement claims against Mulunga are true.
The probe, which is being conducted by Deloitte, will be completed within the coming month.
Board chair Kauta said the first part of the probe comprised mainly of data collection fromthe company’s IT system as well as Mulunga’s personal computer.
“The MD is back in office. People must understand that he was not suspended and this is not a personal campaign against the MD, hence his return to work. We have a board meeting in the coming weeks where he will also be present,” said Kauta when asked if the board has communicated with Mulunga upon his return to office.
Mulunga went on leave in December, a move that paved the way for a forensic investigation into allegations related to the mismanagement levelled against him.
The Patriot last year revealed how Mulunga has been splurging on jobs for pals at the public oil parastatal, in what seems to be a case of nepotism.
The contracts of the 10 workers, who were all unprocedurally appointed by Mulunga, have since been terminated by the board.
A grievance hearing, which lasted more than five hours, was held at the company’s headquarters on Wednesday to probe the allegations averred by the staffers in the grievance filed.
The staff accused Mulunga of appointing Business Development Consultants in violation of established policies and procedures.
Mulunga also stands accused of not communicating with staff members regarding challenges experienced in the company’s Commercial Business Unit, while at the same time allegedly also acting in a manner that renders the work of unit redundant.
According to the grievance document, there is also uncertainty surrounding company’s structures and the role of the business unit.
Mulunga appointed a Business Development Consultant and Lubricants Consultant in violation of Namcor’s policy and procedure. The duo were appointed on 1 September 2016 and 1 November 2017 respectively.
The aggrieved employees said there was no vacancy and the creation and filling of the position was not done in terms of the Namcor Recruitment and Selection Policy.
“Our issue with the appointments is generally premised on the non-adherence by the managing director with the Namcor Recruitment and Selection Policy. As far as we are aware, the recruitment procedure as outlined in section AA1.5of the Recruitment and Selection Policy was not followed in either case.
The group added that: “There was no vacancy requisitions prepared by a line manager, and as such no vacancy existed for a Business Development Consultant, as envisaged by the Recruitment and Selection Policy. Neither was there approval sought from the board before these appointments were made.” The staffers further accused Mulunga of arbitrarily appointing the two consultants without following due procedures.
They also state in the grievance that Mulunga does not directly address them when he has concerns about the performance of the unit.
“The appointment of the Business Development Consultant was made to appear to be of assistance to the unit but so far it has only served to undermine the abilities of the unit. Continuous reference is being made by the MD to the underperformance of CBU but we have not seen any effort from the Managing Director to support, counsel or even attempt to assess the challenges of the unit and how to collectively remedy the situation,” reads a part of the grievance.
The unit members acknowledged that there has been a drop in sales volumes when the consultant was appointed, but they attributed it to factors such as the loss of high volumetric sales clients such as Transnamib, Roads Contractor Company and government.
They also explained that the decline was also partly brought by purchases from competitors or their holding companies.
“This is something we cautioned against as these companies load their own cargoes and because they get the same product at a lower rate and know our cost price [they] are able to under-price us making it impossible for Namcor to sell products until they have sold all volumes received. The consultants appointed at the time by the MD recommended contrary and as such was ignored,” the grievance letter reads.
According to the group, Mulunga ignored the information presented.
“He keeps asserting that as a team we do not have appetite, we are not hungry for growth, we are not willing to work with him which are all mistruths,” reads the grievance.
As a result, the staff members wants clarification of the business support department.
“As per our understanding their functions start with the acquisition of land and as such there was also a board resolution to command business to give back the projects to CBU which the MD refused to implement. This resulted in these projects being used as a reason for justifying the need for an engineering department and the appointment of the engineering manager,” bemoaned the disgruntled staff members.
There are talks that the engineering role created within Business Support is a duplicate of the functions carried out within CBU by the project engineer raising questions as to the reasons why the human resource department and Mulunga was allowed the position to be created.
The affected Namcor employees wants the board to compel Mulunga to follow the Namcor procedures and policies, specifically the applicable Recruitment and Selection Policy and that new appointments should not result in making existing employees redundant.
They also want Mulunga not to give preferential treatment to new employees above the existing ones, who have since left the business after a board directive in December 2017.
“The MD must make deliberate, tangible efforts to support CBU instead of setting it up for failure as it now appears. The MD must [also] make concerted efforts to improve his leadership approach,” concluded the group.
One Namcor official who asked not to be named said: “The board is using internal staff members to victimise the MD. When he[Mulunga] points out the shortcomings of staff members, it is seen as a personal attack but all he wants is performance. The MD has his own shortcomings, but that should not be used as an excuse to get rid of him.” Responding to questions from this publication in December 2017, Mulunga denied any wrongdoing, saying he only signed off the contracts of the additional employees in his capacity as MD.
Kauta yesterday refused to comment on the validity of the of the grievance document in The Patriot’s possession, saying: “This is an internal matter and at this point in time the board wishes to keep it that way. We will pronounce ourselves at the appropriate time.”