..as more branches speak out against top leadership
The two biggest NCCI branches-Windhoek and Walvis Bay-have in recent weeks challenged the chamber’s leadership for allegedly excluding branches from the decision-making processes and subsequently imposing decisions on them.
Some NCCI members have been pretty vocal in their calls for the NCCI leadership to reverse the decision to strip the branches from their mandate to issue Certificates of Origin (COO) to clients and subsequently move that function to the NCCI Head Office in Windhoek.
The changes stemmed from the last NCCI council meeting and subsequent Board directives. NCCI Acting CEO Charity Mwiya said “Head Office has made progress in the implementation of organizational Governance transformation and advanced the necessary internal business process management to improve efficiency.”
NCCI CEO Charity Mwiya on 6 August 2018 wrote to the various branches to inform them of the changes which, according to her, “are aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability and competitiveness in our endeavours to sustain our credibility as the premier business representative organization in the country”.
The CEO said all COOs will now be issued by NCCI’s Marketing officer Augusta Negongo and that all clients requiring COOs will be serviced from this head office onwards.
She also indicated that the COOs currently in use will also be phased out and replaced by new ones with specific security features as of the effective date.
NCCI’s Windhoek Branch Manager Johanna Shiweda-Indongo responded to Mwiya last week, in a letter seen by The Patriot, saying “NCCI Windhoek Branch take note of your instructions above and we really hoped that we were consulted”.
She also questioned why “why have the Branches been side-lined”.
“The implications and practical approach needs to be considered in this matter. The impression created to members is very negative and as with any institution, branches make up the NCCI and subsequently the National Council of NCCI should be consulted and a consensus reached for the most practical approach. There are administrative implications to this for both NCCI and our esteemed clients,” said Shiweda-Indongo.
She opposed the decision saying the National Council meeting of 2017 did not direct Head Office to take over the administration of the Certificates of Origin with immediate effect.
“You were directed to centralise the accounts for revenue collection, increase COO fees and implement a recommendation for Branches to pay up a 30% of COO income to head office,” she said while opposing the recent changes.
The Windhoek Branch Manager said the 30% to be paid to Head office was not properly justified by Head office and the effected Branches didn’t entirely agree to it.
“All of the above was pushed through despite objections. There is no resolution to this effect, unless it is quickly arranged to have one available. Any board directives for such a major change should be channelled to the National Council for discussion and endorsement. Also, Branches should have privy to this information in shape of Branch consultations. The NCCI Financial year runs from January to December.
It goes without saying that it is only proficient that such a big change is effected at the beginning of the year. That is if organizational Governance, transparency, accountability and competitiveness is our aim as specified in the instructions. It is very important to note that companies we serve have their own accounting/ vending systems in place. It sometimes takes about 1/3 months before a change can be made,” she cautioned.
She also argued that Negongo who has been ‘assigned’ to administer the COO’s does not have this function stipulated in her job description.
“All Branch Administrators have it clearly stated in their expected activities. What is the rationale behind having this function removed from the Branches?” she questioned.
Like the Johny Doeseb-led Walvis Bay branch which made it clear that it opposes the decision to strip the branches from the mandate to issue COOs, the Windhoek branch also followed suit.
“Therefore, as Windhoek Branch, we fully support Walvis Bay Branch’s notion of keeping the status quo of the Certificates of Origin until we have been consulted with all effected Branches so as to avoid disruptions and cause further confusion within the members. We further hope that the above and current staff grievances sent to the Board months ago and others receives your earliest attention as the leader of the institution. We recommend that we meet and engage. We must sort these internal issues out, recommend to National Council and we move forward together as one NCCI to serve the members that we are accountable to,” she concluded.