Staff Writer

THREE candidates emerged front runners for the top job at the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) after last week’s interviews.

Although eight candidates were interviewed by a panel that ironically included former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sakararia Nghikembua, only three – Kenandei Tjivikua, Gottlieb Hinda and Ndeulipula Hamutumwa – are said to have excelled and are the top favourites to land the job. Other candidates also interviewed for the job are Titus Ndove, Mpingana Kalimba-Msimuko, Nicholas Mukasa, Emmanuel Masule and Raphael Karuaihe.

This is the second time Hinda is gunning for the job. The Windhoek Observer has it that Hinda was the front runner for the job in 2019 but was beaten to it by Nghikembua. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a postgraduate qualification in finance.

Tjivikua is the former CEO of the Social Security Commission (SSC). He holds two Master’s degrees and MBA from Maastricht School of Management. Hamutumwa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy as well as a Master’s degree in Business Leadership.

Louis du Toit is the acting CEO for the next three months. Du Toit is a chartered accountant and joined Agribank in 2019.

Nghikembua’s five-year contract ended on 31 July. He has now take up the reins as group CEO of Momentum Metropolitan Namibia from 1 August, 2021. He was CEO of Namibia Post Ltd, and later joined Old Mutual as Managing Director of the Short-term Insurance Company (Namibia) Ltd before joining Agribank. He elevated the bank to become a premier agricultural lender with a new, exciting growth trajectory.

The bank’s 5-year strategy was devised and implemented. Financial sustainability became a long-awaited reality, resulting in significant growth in the bank’s loan book, its interest income as well as loan repayment and expense management discipline.

Commenting on Nghikembua’s contribution, the Agribank board vice chairperson, Dagmar Honsbein, said: “It is regrettable to have to lose Mr Nghikembua to the private sector. The value he added was immense, and the board and the bank’s employees will continue to build on this solid foundation.”