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NHE Workers Picket Until Demands Are Met


Staff Writers

The National Housing Enterprise workers have tabled seven demands they want the urban development ministry to address within the next seven days.

ON MONDAY, the NHE chief executive officer Gisbertus Mukulu received the petition at the company’s headquarters in Windhoek.

“I have received the petition. I will take this petition to the relevant authority, where it will receive appropriate attention. That’s all I can say,” said Mukulu.

Board chairperson Sam Shivute told The Villager that although he had not seen the letter of demand, Mukulu had told him about it.

The NHE workers’ representative, Mrs F Matuzee, signed the letter of demand dated 13 June 2022.

The workers want a once-off payment of 60 per cent on their basic salaries in place of the annual increments of 3,4 per cent agreed between management and the union during the negotiations in February 2022.

Another demand is that the company pay all employees who acted and received a 50 per cent acting allowance to be paid retrospectively.

“The NHE decided in December 2020 to come up with austerity measure to cut costs, of which acting allowances were part thereof, whereby acting cut by 50 per cent.

“All non-executive employees got 50 per cent acting allowances. However, only your three favoured lady executives’ acting allowances were reversed to 100 per cent in September 2021,” the petition said.

In addition, the workers want the board to review the chief executive officer’s reappointment for another five years and the immediate appointment of a new board of directors because the current one’s term expired in September 2021.

Mukulu’s second term was approved in May last year despite management’s complaints that he is incompetent.

NHE board chairperson Sam Shivute announced Mukulu’s reappointment in a heated meeting with NHE staff on Tuesday afternoon.

The other demand is for scrapping the acting allowances for the executive, human capital, and strategy because the position never existed and does not add value to the company.

NHE board chairperson Shivute said the board has already decided not to increase salaries because the company is not in a healthy financial position. Shivute also said the workers were told about it.

According to Shivute, the decision was made considering that increasing salaries now would cost the company, and jobs could be lost.

Shivute said the issue of the chief executive officer is not for the workers to decide, but the board has the mandate to do so. He said in any case, Mukulu’s term was renewed with the urban development minister’s consent.

On the appointment of a new board, Shivute said the board he leads still has time in office and that their tenure will end when a new board is appointed.

The workers also claimed that under Mukulu’s reign, NHE has constructed 600 houses in five years instead of a target of 6 250 as stated in the strategic plan.

“When Mukulu took over, NHE’s financial reports were current. However, since then, no financial reports have been produced. As a result, audited financial reports are outstanding for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020,” the workers said.

They argue that because of the absence of audited financial reports, NHE cannot access any loans from financial institutions. It contravenes the NHE act that requires the urban development minister to table the reports in the National Assembly six months after the end of each financial year.

The workers further claimed that the NHE loan book, which is the primary source of revenue, has shrunk, while very few loans are added to make the business sustainable.

According to the workers, the chief financial officer told the staff in the presence of Shivute that NHE may not be able to pay salaries beyond the next two years.


The workers said although the board and management have been saying NHE does not have money, they spent more than N$5 million on legal fees to fight one employee’s case.

They further said NHE bought plots at Gobabis for N$1,3 million more than the valuation cost and spent another N$500 000 on consultancy fees for a sub-standard integrated strategic business plan.

This strategic business plan, the workers claimed, was said to have been approved by the board but not communicated to the workers.

The other issue the workers are not happy about is that the management holds meetings at AM Weinberg and Droombos while the NHE has a lecture hall and two boardrooms.

The workers further complained that the position of acting human capital and strategy was not necessary. They also said the acting chief financial officer faces several grievances against her, yet no action has been taken.

“How do you promote someone with many pending unresolved tasks on her table?” the workers asked.



Staff Writer

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