Erongo Red board member Irene Simeon-Kurtz has called for the decision to appoint Immanuel !Hanabeb as the company’s new CEO to be reversed.
!Hanabeb’s appointment was announced by the electricity distribution company amidst an ongoing court battle with the former CEO Fessor Mbango, whose contract ended on 30 April.
In a letter to the Erongo Red board chairperson, Zoe Nambahu, Simeon-Kurtz said she had reason to believe that ! Hanabeb’s recruitment process was tampered with, and that the decision to appoint him was “not taken in accordance with the requisite provisions of the company recruitment and selection policy and/or rules.
The decision is therefore unlawful and should be rescinded as it violates administrative justice as contemplated by Article 18 of the Namibian Constitution, which prescribes that “Administrative bodies and administrative officials shall act fairly and reasonably and comply with requirements imposed upon such bodies and officials by common law and any relevant legislation.”
Simeon-Kurtz further claimed that !Hanabeb was not part of the initial list of shortlisted candidates, and that the process was flawed.
“The interview outcome or submission to the board with recommendations to appoint or resolution signed off by all board members confirming the appointment is not shared with all directors. The recommendations to appoint the scoresheets seem not to be signed off by all board members,” she said.
The board member also fingered fellow board members of corruption during the recruitment process and has called for an anti-corruption commission investigation into the matter.
She said a widespread audio that has been leaked and recently surfaced on social media points to gross negligence and irregular conduct on a lack of proper and responsible governance by the board.
“I, therefore, request that its contents be subjected to forensic analysis and investigation. A corruption case to be opened with the anti-corruption commission to investigate possible practice of corruption and /or corrupt conduct of side stepping of recruitment procedures and/or processes by both implicated employees and board members for gratification purposes, as well as the leaking of the audio clips in circulation.”
Simeon-Kurtz’s letter, in which the mines and energy, urban and rural development, and labour ministers were also CCd, comes amidst the company’s former CEO Mba approaching the courts over their failure to renew his contract.
According to media reports, Mbango believes that since he did not receive a six-month notice from the company before his contract ended, indicating that it would not be renewed, it then meant “the employment contract is deemed to have been renewed on the same terms”.
!Hanabeb has previously worked at Namport, the Roads Contractor Company and Roads Authority.