Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Namcor’s battles re-fueled

By Mathias Haufiku

A projected loss making financial year, a defective contract entered with a company which is now unable to repay Namcor a total of N$16 million, cancellations of contracts, a misrepresentation to Bank Windhoek in regard to the employee status of Sam Hasheela, a payment for lubricants made to an account in Ukraine, these are some of the findings detailed in the Deloitte forensic report of June 2018.
Mulunga, who has been accused of playing with Namcor money to fund his flashy lifestyle, has been on the radar of the Namcor board for months now. This week, Chairperson Patrick Kauta bowed out citing disappointment in not being able to have enjoyed a level of ‘interest by the shareholder on the many incidents at management level’.
Mulunga has repeatedly claimed that the Patrick Kauta-led board was on a never-ending mission to destroy his career.
The Namcor boss, one of the youngest black executives in the oil industry, has faced constant pressure because of his role when it comes to awarding oil contracts to investors.
Kauta, who resigned earlier this week after two years at the helm of the organisation, has flirted with the idea of firing Mulunga in recent months. Mulunga has fought back, claiming the irregular appointment of Deloitte to conduct the forensic investigation into his business dealings stating he would refuse to settle the bill of about N$ 3.6 million.
In September 2018 in a finding against Namcor, five dismissed employees namely Karina Indongo, Mwaka Sibiso, Wenceslaus Iita, Daisy Ndjavera and Reginalda Kennedy were awarded damages of N$ 1,2 million by the Labour Commissioner. In a strong worded letter to the Board, Mines minister Tom Alweendo asked the board to explain why they should not personally be held liable for the claim.
In a rather lengthy response, Kauta sets out to refute Mulunga’s claims that a legal opinion was available to avoid the dismissal of the temporary employees. The Patriot is in possession of an email where Mulunga informs the Board that he was seeking legal input. However, Kauta claims that no legal opinion was made available to the Board upon their termination of the said employees.
Another matter that appears to have caused irreparable friction between Mulunga and his Board appeared to have been the termination of Cornelius ‘Cedric’ Willemse’s contract as project advisor.  The board led by Johannes Gawaxab approved the appointment at N$115 000 a month in August 2016.
In December 2016, the then newly appointed board with Kauta as Chairman, terminated the contract after it alleged that tender collusion took place.
“There was a reasonable suspicion of tender collusion by Mr. Willemse. It is perhaps pertinent to point out that Mr. Willemse proved to be an exceptionally divisive element within Namcor,” reads the report.
The report states that Willemse adjudicated the tender at a time when he was a member in one of the tenders.
“The suspicion circumstances around which convenient transfer of the members interest in the company which Mr. Willemse recommended for award of the tender, left and still leaves more questions than answers. We shall leave it at that for now.”
In confidential documents seen by this publication, Deloitte highlighted the awarding of the Walvis Bay Manuals Contract as one where procurement procedures were not followed. After seven bids were submitted, only two made it through the technical evaluation.
These companies were PHIM Consulting Engineers and Creo Assets, however the bid committee recommended PHIM on the basis of its technical score. In a surprising turn of events, the Procurement Committee cancelled the bid but then proceeded the re-advertise the bid without PHIM being informed that the bid was considered ‘non responsive’ and therefore cancelled.
During the period of evaluation, Namcor determined based on mandatory checklists that only NAMPICA cc and PHIM would be eligible for evaluation by the bid committee.
NAMPICA was recommended for the assignment despite it being not being able to submit the relevant statutory documents. This decision was confirmed by Managing Director Mulunga.
“On 13 December 2016, the board resolved further that the temporary agreement of Mrs. Daisy Ndjavera, should not be renewed and her contract allowed to run down. The MD, without consulting the Board, proceeded to renew the contract without the Board consent.  It should again be noted that Mrs. Ndjavera similarly provided to be a very divisive element within Namcor during the time at the company, as per the NAPWU letter and the employee grievance.”
The board said there was no transparent process of selecting Ndjavera and Hasheela.
“These appointments were infested by nepotism, cronyism and lack of transparency. In the view of the board and evidently executed without following due process. No board using reasonable and skill while exercising independent judgment can promote or condone such disorderly conduct,” reads the report.
“A further point which bears mention in regard Mrs Ndjavera, is the recent revelation that her misconduct during her employment with Namcor has cost it N$16 million in damages and Namcor will not be able to declare any profits for this financial year as a result and we may need to inform treasury accordingly,” said Kauta,
He further stated: “The outstanding invoice of Flowvin was given a credit facility by Mrs. Ndjavera which ballooned without checks, balances are any request for security despite numerous queries by the board.
Flowvin is now bankrupt and unable to pay Namcor, who has no security in place to protect its business.” Flowvin is rumoured to have strong ties with erstwhile Namcor consultant Cedric Willemse and is owned by businessman Marc Omphemetse Themba who resides in Walvis Bay.
This company is yet to pay Namcor in excess of N$ 16 million for fuel exports during 2017 and 2018.
A Namcor source said “The real reason Kauta resigned is that the Minister was about to challenge him on his insistence to fire temporary employees even after the MD has told him that there’s a legal opinion from a respected Labour lawyer that his action was illegal.
Kauta stated in his resignation letter that he had no ‘ desire to subject’ himself to a contravention of the Anti Corruption Act.
At the same occasion, he also handed over the full Deloitte Report to the Minister of Mines and the Director of the Anti Corruption Commission.

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