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Sunday 21 July 2019
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Flowvin milks Namcor

…as it turns N$5m into N$16m in mystery-shrouded credit pact

 

After bending over backwards to allow a private firm to which it had extended a N$5 million credit facility access to a further N$11 million on the same facility without the necessary approvals and guarantees, Namcor now wants to write off the debt, The Patriot has learnt.
Walvis Bay-based wholesale and bulk fuel distributor Flowvin Investment Group was also offered marine gas oil at the price of heavy fuel oil which is much cheaper. Owned by businessman Marc Omphemetse Themba, the close corporation was incorporated in November 2016, according to documents seen.
Flowvin buys fuel from Namcor for export to Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana, and according to insiders enjoys enormous benefits in the form of rebates. They are also uniquely privileged to export fuel on Namcor’s license.
The Patriot understands that some Namcor executives have raised the red flags regarding the company’s intricate ties with Flowvin but management remained mum on their concerns, which highlighted breaches in Flowvin’s contract.
The board was scheduled to meet last week but the meeting was cancelled following Patrick Kauta’s shock resignation as board chairperson.
Flowvin was initially given a credit facility of N$5 million by Namcor which it exhausted by December 2017.
According to an invoice seen by this newspaper, by 9 April 2018, Flowvin had racked up a bill of N$16 495 895. This effectively means that between December 2017 and April 2018, Flowvin’s credit line was extended by a further N$11 million.
At a board meeting on 5 June 2018, Namcor’s managing director Immanuel Mulunga informed the board that Flowvin’s account was in good shape.
A spreadsheet to this effect provides evidence that despite other companies cited as owing Namcor money, Flowvin did not form part of those.
Documents at hand state that Flowvin now owes Namcor N$ 15 196 858.46 and for this, a request was to be made to the Board for a debt write off. The credit line was initially stretched to N$16 495 895.00, however it was reduced upon Flowvin making a miniscule payment of N$1 299 036.54.
Documents seen by The Patriot indicate that the N$16 million credit facility given to Flowvin was way bigger clients such as that of ministries such as education, environment and tourism, works and transport, fisheries and marine, safety and security. All these ministries have a N$10 million credit facility.
The coastal-based Langer Heinrich mine is one of the few entities with a credit facility that surpassed Flowvin.

Flowvin, Willemse and Mulunga
The Patriot understands that Namcor boss Immanuel Mulunga wants the board to approve his submission to write-off the Flowvin debt.
While fingers are pointed to Mulunga regarding the exhausted Flowvin facility, some company insiders have also pointed fingers at the head of Namcor’s Commercial Business Unit, Ludwig Kapingana.
Mulunga told this publication during the course of last year that he is not linked to Flowvin in any way. “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.”
He has also denied links to Cedric Willemse, a former consultant of both Namcor and Flowvin.
Willemse this week denied being a personal friend of Mulunga while also distancing himself from Flowvin. “I have a professional relationship with Mulunga, he is the one who had asked me to assist Namcor in their quest to become competitive in the market.
As for Flowvin, I consulted for them just like I did for any other company. I was never part of them,” he said.
Willemse, one of the most decorated oil experts in the country, said Kapingana must also take part of the blame for allowing Flowvin’s account to exceed the limit. “Kapingana is the head of that unit and they deal with such accounts. Of course the MD must also take the blame because he is the overall head.
But those who slept on duty when this account exceeded the limit must be taken to task because it is inexcusable. The MD needs to take action,” Willemse said.
Willemse, who was sacked as a consultant by the Kauta-led board, said he was let go because of “personal issues” and due to infighting between the board and the MD.
“I provide advice to many people and companies in the oil industry, so if Flowvin defaulted on their payments you cannot blame the consultants because consultants do not work with accounts. How can gainfully employed officials not verify and make sure accounts are up to date, those are standard procedures during any credit process,” Willemse.

Ndjavera tells her side
Questions are now being asked as to how Flowvin managed to exceed its original credit line without the necessary approval being sought.
Fingers were pointed at Namcor’s former Business Development Consultant Daisy Ndjavera who introduced Flowvin to Namcor.
Ndjavera left Namcor when she was unceremoniously booted when the Board and Managing Director had a disagreement in regard to her employment contract.
Ndjavera this week explained that she signed up Flowvin Investment on 20 July 2017, as an Export Commercial customer.
Ndjavera said by the time the board terminated her employment contract on 7 December 2017, the account balance was N$5 million as per the approved Credit Limit.
In her response to claims that she was responsible for the ballooning of the Namcor she retorts that it would simply not be possible as “there is no such a practice in the Oil Industry, the Industry applies segregation of duties.
While in workforce of Namcor, I never approved any single invoice and the account statement illustrates that the amount owed when I left was N$5 million and how will it be possible for me to approve sales orders at home in order to increase the outstanding invoices amount to N$16 Million?” she questioned.
Company insiders feel that the alleged misconduct of Ndjavera during her employment with Namcor has cost the company N$16 million.
It has even been alleged that as a result of this bad debt, Namcor may not be in a position  to declare any profits for this financial year, and that treasury will be informed  accordingly.
“One of my duty {sic} was to increase the customer base for Namcor.
As a practice in the Industry, once a customer is successfully landed and started to trade, then the relevant line function within Namcor CBU (Commercial Business Unit) takes full control of the account and the customer becomes its responsibility.
When a customer places sales an order, the approved credit limit versus the outstanding invoices amount needs to be verified prior to approval and delivery of product in order to ensure good standing and adherence to approval credit limit.
If sales orders placed by a customer will cause a customer to exceed its approved credit limit, then that specific account is put on hold pending payment,” Ndjavera explained.
“Mr. [Patrick]Kauta has himself to blame for terminating my services as a Business Development Consultant while not sure whether he had the capacity to handle this account.   When I left Namcor, the account balance was N$5 million as per the approved Credit Limit and how, as well as why CBU allowed the Customer to purchase from N$5 million to N$16 million is something I cannot answer on behalf of Namcor.
A further enquiry dealt with the lack of collateral for the credit limit extended to Flowvin and according to Ndjavera, she saw a letter from Old Mutual promising a guarantee to be released as collateral.
This week, Old Mutual denied any knowledge of such a transaction and claimed never to have received an application from Flowvin for a guarantee.
To me this is a serious offence and I will be surprised if whoever approved those sales orders is still in the work force of Namcor.
The Patriot can obtain account statements from Finance Department of Namcor to confirm my declaration.  By the way, for the past two years, Namcor never met its sales target,” Ndjavera said in a bid to clear her name.
While pleading her innocence, Ndjavera said “should there be a need to discuss this matter further, I suggest that Mr. Kauta make an appointment with Honorable Minister of Mines and Energy as well as the Managing Director including myself, whereby we can sit around the table and have a proper discussion on this.”




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