By Staff Reporter
There appears to be some underhanded dealings afoot at Momentum Collective Investments Namibia, which is causing their insurance agents unrest and sleepless nights.
Several sources have approached this publication with allegations that Momentum, via its current CEO Ingah Ekandjo, have unilaterally changed the rules of engagement and is stealing the bread from their employee’s mouths.
When insurance brokers agree to sell insurance for Momentum, they also agree that 20% of their commission will be deducted by their employer. This money will be kept and managed by Momentum, as ‘security’ of sorts, should any of the people the brokers had signed up, decide to withdraw from the fund.
There was also an agreed stipulation that when the deductions reach N$25,000.00, they would cease, and the brokers would receive any amount above that as a twice-yearly payment in January and July.
This arrangement has been working well since the brokers were employed, but in 2018 the base amount rose from N$25,000.00 – N$50,000.00, without consultation or without any forewarning and not in writing.
Because they were in need of the work and since the brokers work strictly for commission, they grudgingly accepted this new arrangement.
“We accepted because we want the job. We don’t want to quarrel because we have got chi1ldren to care for. Now, anything above N$50,000.00 they don’t want to pay. Some people have one hundred (thousand), some people have fifty (thousand) and nobody is getting their money,” a source revealed.
According to the source, brokers expected this N$50,000.00 arrangement to echo the previous one, where any amount over the N$50,000.00 ‘security’ money, would be paid over to them in two instalments, every six months; only to be told this past week that they would in fact not be getting the pay-outs.
“They said the money must stay in the company for two years. We are three hundred in the company and everybody is affected. We are the ones who bring the funds into the company, it is us who is working for it, it is our hard-earned commission, and we cannot get it,” she said. “This thing is affecting us badly. We work on commission. We have got children. We don’t have anything. December the offices are closed, and everybody goes for holiday, we do not even get business in December and that is why we agreed to get the money in January and July. Now can she just say, ‘I am not going to pay’? Imagine, you are a human being.”
A second source tells us of the responsibilities he has, and how this shocking and unexpected development affects him, personally.
“You know what, every one of us have stationary to buy for our kids; we have school fees to pay; we have houses to pay our mortgage; we have cars to pay; we have food to buy so that our kids and ourselves can have something to eat to have energy and to go and look for another client. We are really affected emotionally, physically and mentally by everything. One of our colleagues is even admitted in hospital,” he said.
Yet another broker speaking on condition of anonymity of Momentum relates his story and says, “suddenly, she just came now at the end of January when they are supposed to pay us our difference, and all of a sudden we just hear that the money was invested. It has really harmed us because we had an expectation that we would receive our money, but suddenly we are told that they do not have anything. It is really harming us, and we do not know how to go about; we each have a house, we have got cars and kids. Now after we have done the job, they are telling us that they have no money to pay us. Some of us have gotten high blood pressure now.
Calls to Grant Marais, Group CEO of MMI and Ingah Ekandjo, Executive Officer at Momentum Metropolitan Namibia, were unreturned as neither were reachable at the time of going to print.