Namibia Airports Company boss Bisey Uirab has chosen to remain tight-lipped as his office has been hit by a barrage of accusations of discrimination, favouritism, making threats to employees causing hostilities and tensions among strategic executives, and middle managers.
These accusations are stemming from the NAC middle-managers who have reportedly since written to the board of directors.
Uirab has foremost been accused by his subordinates of protecting and favouring his Strategic Executives for Finance and HR, both of which have been labelled as incompetent.
Uirab came to the helm of NAC last year.
In their allegations, the middle managers state that they informed him of existing problems at the entity which he down-played.
They have said he is now spending most of his time doing damage control instead of focusing on his work.
In their document, which contains the accusations, the middle-managers have accused Uirab of avoiding to confront the said problems head-on but chose to rope in a labour expert.
This, they say, at the expense of the taxpayer.
The managers have also accused him of threatening employees who raise complaints adding, “On 29 October 2020 at 08h30 there was a meeting with Mediator and concerned employees. He told employees that he will find out which employees are giving information to people from outside and will fire them.”
The managers go on to accuse him of forcing employees to write letters to cancel letters they wrote in which they highlighted problems at NAC which needed his attention.
“Why not find out the problems first?” the managers retorted.
They have also stated that Uirab is sitting with serious allegations of corruption, nepotism, favouritism and irregularities by his two Executives whom the middle-managers have said are his favourites.
They said he did nothing to deal with these.
Pages of these allegations are in the hands of Eagle FM.
“Majority of NAC employees are not happy, Rumors are rife that you are just favouring staff from your ethnic group, earmarking good positions for your allies and creating divisions within the company rather than uniting employees,” the middle managers have said.
Another allegation is that the NAC Strategic Executive for Human Resources, Josephine Soroses, has prided herself as untouchable at the institution because she is related to Uirab.
At the back of this is an accusation that Uirab extended her five-year contract of employment in July 2020 which was to end on October the 31st 2020.
“There is victimization and dictatorship, ranging from Attitude, communication, Inconsistency, Threats at work towards other employees and managers that are vocal. Do you agree, why are you allowing your executives doing that?” the middle-managers have queried.
Allegations of remuneration inequities
Uirab has also been accused of presiding over inequalities and discrimination when it comes to remuneration packages as well as benefits given to middle managers.
“Some management employees on a D1 grade are getting lucrative benefits while some on a D1 and D3 are not. Lucky ones have cars financed by the company, getting fuel cards, maintenance plan and insurance and tires for free yet other managers are not,” the middle managers have highlighted in their complaints.
Uirab, according to them, has not addressed this.
They also submit that numerous letters were written to Uirab’s Strategic Executive for HR to resolve the issue but nothing happened.
“There was a letter written to Exco in March 2020, to the Board, Office of the Ombudsman, Ministry of Public Enterprises, and Minister of Works, Transport and Communication regarding the same issue.
Affected employees were told to come up with a policy to address the issue, and other managers benefiting from the lucrative benefits were happy with the proposed Policy and supports their colleagues but you as the CEO, Strategic executive for HR and Finance turned it down, why?” they queried.
Another accusation is that Uirab created unnecessary four executive positions within a space of six months after his appointment, and also allowing some executives taking unilateral decisions, abolishing some critical managerial positions, creating a lot of unnecessary operational positions for the benefit of some Executives favourites.
He has also been accused of doing nothing about a strategic Executive for Engineering who according to the middle-managers, goes for meetings with hangovers and intoxicated during Exco meetings.
The name of the official has been kept under the carpet.
More allegations have surfaced with Uirab being accused of taking in an employee from his ethnic group with only a Trade Diploma to act in a position of Airport Engineer at HKI Airport for 5 years getting and paid an acting allowance and is not a registered engineer.
The middle managers have sought Uirab to respond as to why, as per their allegations, a manager for Eros and Operation’s positions on the new structure were abolished why?
They have also questioned why, as per their allegations, Uirab’s Strategic Executive for Operations appointed a Junior staff who was not interviewed to act in the position for Safety Manager leaving senior and experienced staff at both Hosea Kutako International Airport and Walvis bay to act.
According to them, the lady has been acting for 4 years getting an acting allowance and subsistence and travelling allowance.
Uirab further faces an allegation that he recommended to Home Affairs to approve the permanent residency of a Zimbabwean national in the position of Strategic Executive for Finance.
The name of this employee has also not been made known to Eagle FM.
Further to this, the middle managers have said certain BEE companies owned by Zimbabweans were given the opportunity of being awarded tenders by the Executive of Finance to supply hand sanitizers to HKI Airport and other NAC regional airports leaving some local companies owned by Namibians.
Uirab has been asked the following, “ Are you aware of the purchase order dated 16 March 2020 with a company stamp to a supplier CREWFIELD Investments CC, P.O. Box 86279, Windhoek, whereby your Strategic Executive for Finance arranged for immediate Hand sanitizers Bulk with a quantity of 1,035, the unit value of N$375.20 and a total of N$388,332.00, transaction/payment was received on 01 April 2020 at 17h:05, who owns that company, why were Namibian companies not considered?”
When approached for comment by Eagle FM, Uirab said these were internal matters which he was not willing to comment on.