Staff Writer

The troubled Namibia Industrial Development (NIDA) board has been given the boot by Public Enterprises minister Leon Jooste.

The Frans Kwala led board appointed by the then Trade Minister, Tjekero Tweya, in 2018 was given its marching orders by Jooste after failing to justify its continued stay, amid mounting governance and operational challenges at the parastatal.

Also booted out are board members, Anita /Narib, Hans Jochelson, Job Muniaro, Dr Diana van Schalkwyk and Marcelina ! Gaoses.

“To be fair to the Board, I requested the NIDA Board, collectively and individually, to provide my office with relevant documentations and/ reasons as to why I should not request them to vacate their office as board members as stipulated in the relevant provisions of Chapter 3 and Section 13 (2) (a) and (b) of the NIDA Act unless the contrary is proven,” the minister said.

“The NIDA board responded but my office was not satisfied that the board fulfilled their fiduciary obligations.I have therefore, as the relevant Minister of NIDA in terms of PEGA, 2019 provisions and section 13 (2) (a) of NIDA Act, 2016, removed the Board members from the office of the Board of NIDA with immediate effect.”

Jooste said findings into the company carried out by his office have revealed various anomalies such as missing key company documents.

“After NIDA’s transfer to the Ministry of Public Enterprises (MPE) and in accordance with the Ministry’s mandate, my office undertook a compliance analysis of NIDA documentation and operations to determine the company’s compliance status in line with both the PEGA and NIDA Acts. Regrettably, the results of the analysis pointed to serious compliance and flaws with relevant documentation pertaining to NIDA either missing or non-existent,” the minister said.

“In addition, NIDA has been faced with several governance and operational challenges which brought the company into disrepute.”

In its place , Jooste has appointed an interim board led by former Nedbank Namibia CEO Lionel Matthews. The term of office for the temporary board made up of Xwama owner, Twapewa Kadhikwa, Beata Muteka, Sikongo Haihambo, Esmerelda Katjaerua and Floris Fleermuys, is effective from Monday 28th September 2020 until 28th March 2021.

The dismissal of the NIDA board also comes after the ruling Swapo party had called for its dismissal, along with its acting CEO Uparura Kuvare who has been retained, over alleged maladministration.