NHE board calls for crisis meeting

Maria Hamutenya and Andrew Kathindi

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) Board has scheduled a crisis meeting with the organisation’s managers following the surfacing of a damning letter where they accused Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Gisbertus Mukulu, of incompetence.

In the letter, company management stated that the employment contract of the CEO must not be renewed when it ends on 30 June, pointing out that since the appointment of Makulu as CEO, the NHE failed to achieve two critical objectives of its strategic plan, growing the loan book and building 1250 houses annually.

According to the approved NHE strategic plan 2017-2022 , the NHE was supposed to build 5000 houses during this period. During Mukulu’s tenure, NHE has built less than 600 houses against an ever-widening gap of housing shortages in Namibia.

NHE Board Chairperson, Sam Shivute, was tight lipped on the management letter, which also called for him to resign citing conflict of interest since his appointment as NamRa head.

“The Board will be meeting with the managers concerned tomorrow and after meeting with them than we would be issuing a statement, it will not be proper to issue a statement first before we engage with the people,” said Shivute.

Public Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste, whose ministry is tasked with the recruitment of parastatal boards and its leadership, said he had written a letter to the NHE board seeking answers over the development.

“I have drafted a letter requesting information related to the contents of the petition and I will then consult the Minister of Urban and Rural Development on the way forward,” he said.

The NHE management also questioned the appointment of First Rand Namibia Group Chief Financial Officer, Oscar Capelao, citing conflict because First National Bank competes with the company in providing mortgage finance.

“We, the management of the NHE, view this petition as a necessary pro-active decisive step that seeks to avert further deterioration in the overall performance and governance of the NHE. Unfortunately, the current Board of Directors and the CEO, do not, unlike us, place the interests of the NHE and the people NHE is required to serve first and should be replaced,” part of the letter reads.

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