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By: Andrew Kathindi

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has said that Ruth Herunga’s departure as interim Fishcor chief executive officer will cause no disruption.

Jooste also told The Villager that he would receive a report on the recruitment process of a substantive chief executive officer on Friday.

“No disruption. An internal acting chief executive officer has been appointed, and I expect to receive the CEO recruitment report tomorrow where after I will prepare the Cabinet submission,” Jooste told The Villager.

Herunga stepped down from her position as the caretaker chief executive officer after being appointed six months ago in April.

According to Herunga, Fishcor acting general finance manager Risto Daniel will serve as interim chief executive officer.

The company has been without a substantive chief executive officer since December 2019 when Fishrot accused Mike Nghipunya was suspended before he was subsequently arrested on allegations that he used his position as chief executive officer to allocate fishing rights in exchange for bribes.

Herunga was appointed as interim boss, replacing former acting chief executive officer and financial manager Paulus Ngalangi, to steer the company to financial stability following a rocky year after the Fishrot tainted company had seen its fishing quotas reduced.

Fishcor board chairperson Heinrich Mihe Gaomab II told The Villager, “We want to mature the process with the board this week. We shall ensure briefing by next week.”

Herunga, who recently unsuccessfully applied for the Ombudsman post, told The Villager out of place that led to her decision to step down.

“There’s nothing to it. It is just a decision that I made.”

Quizzed on whether she wants to pursue other career avenues, she said, “Yes, of course. Life goes on.”

In a letter she released regarding her resignation, Herunga said, “I’ve parted ways with Fishcor and my last day as caretaker chief executive officer was on 30 September 2021. During my time at Fishcor, I ensured that we put strict financial controls in place and sustained our workforce (none of our employees was retrenched. In fact, they received a salary increment from 1 August 2021). We made serious operational changes at the company that increased the production yield at the company.”

Herunga will no longer serve on the Fishcor board to which she was appointed last year on an interim basis.

She was appointed with Gaomab II, Kalahari Holdings Director and Social Security Commission’s Executive Officer, Milka Mungunda, and University of Namibia Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Head, Dr Penny Hiwilepo van Hal.

Jooste recently extended the temporary board’s term until 6 December.

“I left Fishcor in a financially stable condition, and Mr Risto Daniel (acting GM Finance) was appointed to take charge until the substantive CEO resumes duty.”

“My experience at the helm of the Corporation has been extremely enlightening, and I’m most grateful for the opportunity to have served with utmost diligence and integrity when called upon to do so. I am no longer available for any Fishcor related matters.”

Julia Heita

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