Tuesday 13 April 2021
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Namwater wants runner-up as CEO

….!Naruseb endorses, Jooste has reservations

By Staff Reporter

The NamWater board wants the current deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Abraham Nehemia who came in second during the interviews to be appointed as the company’s CEO.
This is despite the fact that Nehemia is a mere three years away from retirement.
The Patriot has it on good grounds that the company’s board forwarded the recommendation to Agriculture Minister Alpheus !Naruseb and Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste.
“It would appear that Nehemiah was pushed to the front of the queue by Shivute[outgoing CEO] and Maswahu[board chair]. Cabinet subsequently referred the recommendation back and asked why the board wants Nehemia. On Tuesday, Maswahu and Shivute wrote a letter without a board resolution to the public enterprises ministry pretending that Nehemiah’s appointment reflects the voice of the united board,” said a company insider.
The recruitment agency recommended that either Abraham Nehemia or Luther Rukira will be an ideal appointment. However, the recruitment agency highlights the ‘shortfall in Nehemiah’s profile when considered against the requirements of the job” and questions his ability to make “decisions outside his area of expertise”.
Jooste said Namwater reports to the MAWF and all queries should be directed to !Naruseb.
“The board(NamWater) wrote to the Minister[!Naruseb] and he supported and sent it to me. The best is to get clarification from MAWF,” Jooste said.
While Jooste revealed that !Naruseb supported the move to appoint Nehemia, government sources say Jooste was against the move and he subsequently asked the board to clarify their decision.
“Nehemia scored 80% and Rukira 83% in the panel interviews. Therefore, only a slight difference in scores achieved. The panel agreed that both candidates would be able to competently do the job,” reads the final report from the recruiting agency.
Official records indicate that there were 57 applicants for the job.
According to the recruitment agency, Rukira brings with him a wealth of experience in the water industry with his studies also specific to the role and he meets all the requirements and is very involved in the sector.
“Luther presented himself as composed and confident and exhibited good listening skills and maturity throughout the interview. He offered a good presentation and demonstrated a good understanding of NamWater and its challenges with strong Financial understanding, adequate for the requirements of this position.
He came across as well balanced with good decision-making skills and achievements in his career to date.
Rukira also has a strong operational understanding of the Water sector. The panel showed some concern that Rukira noted that should he return to NamWater, he indicated that there might be some resistance from within the company.” Rukira had previously worked for the water utility.
As for Nehemia, the agency said “he is passionate about water supply and very much involved in the sector, which means he could hit the ground running. He feels that after many years at the Ministry he needs a new challenge.”
“Abraham came across as composed and confident with a good understanding of the industry and its challenges. He presented more from an industry perspective than a NamWater perspective. He failed to convey a clear vision for the organisation in his presentation, but generally had a solid presentation and exhibited good presentation skills.

He is very well connected and has good shareholder relations.
His financial acumen required for this level did raise some concern with some panel members and there were questions if he was going to make a big enough impact in NamWater, should he be appointed. His advantage is that he has been the Chairperson of NamWater (previously ) and served on the Board for many years,” the agency noted.

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