Uutoni, Jooste in the dark over NHE suspensions

Rose-Mary Haufiku

The two line ministers under which the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) falls under, Erastus Uutoni and Leone Jooste are not aware that the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Gisbertus Mukulu, had suspend four of the enterprise’s senior managers.

Mukulu’s action, which has been seen as retaliation, comes after the managers had formally written a letter to company’s board chaired by recently appointed NamRa boss, Sam Shivute, questioning the CEO’s competence.

Public Enterprises Minister, Leone Jooste whose ministry is charged with ensuring corporate governance is followed in government institutions, said he had not been consulted on the decision. “I was not consulted on this matter and will only be in a position to respond once we have had the opportunity to look into the associated issues,” said Jooste.

Jooste’s position comes as the suspension is widely expected to impact the operations of the organisation, which is already said to be facing operational and viability challenges according company employees. Urban and Rural Development Minister, Erastus Uutoni, also said he was in the dark about the development. “Is that what happened? I am not aware that has happened. I guess I need to find out what is happening,” said Uutoni.

This is despite Uutoni having approved the contract renewal of the NHE’s CEO.

The suspensions, which were revealed last Thursday, followed senior managers and staff protest on Tuesday against the renewal of the CEO’s contract for another five years term, amid allegations of incompetence of the former Okahao Town council CEO, who was appointed in 2016 without Cabinet’s approval despite the assertion that former Omusati Governor, Local Government Minister, and current Swapo Secretary General, Sophia Shaningwa, had a hand in the appointment.

The senior managers claimed that the CEO was being highly indecisive and routinely procrastinates decisions which frustrates the operations of the NHE. Efforts to contact Shivute were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.

According to media reports, the NHE has failed to produce audited fincial statements over the past four years.

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